Residents living near Dundee have branded travel bans between different tier areas as “unnecessary” and an “over-reaction”.
While the city has been placed in the level 3, all three boundary regions – Perth & Kinross, Angus, and Fife – are in level 2.
Earlier this week it was revealed the Scottish Government is “actively considering” putting a travel ban into law with fines for those who journey in and out of Covid-19 hotspots.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said limiting travel was “absolutely essential” in containing the virus but was not currently enforceable.
However, many across Tayside and Fife have criticised the rules – which urge people to cross level boundaries only for “essential” reasons.
Jane Partington, a Fife resident who lives alone and travels through Dundee to Invergowrie to care for her granddaughter, said: “A ban would be devastating for me and my daughter.
“She’s in the position where she can’t work from home, so I come through from Fife and look after her daughter.
“I can’t really be opposed to the new rules though, because I know that it’s being done for a good reason, but it would still be very difficult though.
“It was funny, yesterday someone heard my English accent and they asked where I was from, they were suspicious of me, and I think that shows that there is a fear there.”
In Monifieith, 43-year-old Jonathan James disagrees with imposing a law. He said: “I think that it’s ridiculous.
“At the end of the day, Broughty Ferry and Monifieth are only different places because of the councils, they’re so mixed together that there’s no reasonable way to split them up.
“It’s just an overreaction, I understand the restrictions on a national level and why they help, but I think that this might just end up creating more congestion in areas if people can’t leave.
“It won’t affect me too much, but I think that it could definitely impact other people.”
However, others have claimed current restrictions don’t go far enough.
Christian Fuller, a 32-year-old from Dundee, said: “It’s a good idea, but I think that we should have been locked in our cities from the start.
“I think that the military should also be doing more, when I first heard they were getting involved I thought it would be more than just dropping things off.”
John Alexander, leader of Dundee City Council, was confident people would know what they should – and should not – do.
He said: “Any rules need to have a degree of common sense included in their implementation and I’m confident that that will be the case here.
“There are a number of exemptions on travel and the main question for all of us as individuals is not whether we can travel, but whether we should.
“If people use their common sense then I don’t foresee any problems and in cases such as Invergowrie, the only nearby supermarket is in Dundee and they wouldn’t be prevented from accessing it.
“It’s all about sensible measures to prevent further harm.
“No one would want to see people fined or these powers to be used but it will certainly focus the minds of those that are flagrantly ignoring the guidance. If there are those putting others’ lives and livelihoods at risk then there has to be consequences for that.
“The frameworks purpose is to drive down transmission of the virus and we are seeing, although it’s too early to say with certainty that it’ll continue, a reduction in the transmission rates in the city in the last week.
“The measures are working, and people are playing their part.”
He thanked people for “sticking with the rules” and hoped that if that continues, Dundee will move out of level 3 “sooner rather than later.”
Ms Sturgeon said she had not taken a final decision but would not rule out an enforceable travel ban.
At a press briefing in Holyrood on Wednesday she said: “When something is put in law, most people realise – more than they do when its guidance – that it’s important.
“And it does give the police the ability if they have evidence that people are flagrantly breaching the law to take action there, where that is appropriate.”
The first minister said the current fixed penalty framework – starting at £60 – would be the likely “starting point” for any enforcement.