There was positive and negative news in and around the Capital today, as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced significant changes in the country’s Covid-19 restriction levels.
In her daily briefing, the First Minister confirmed both Midlothian and East Lothian were to be moved down a tier to level two, whilst West Lothian moved up to the strict level four restrictions. Edinburgh remains in level three.
Perhaps naturally, after a torrid year, the changes have been met with mixed reactions from our readers.
There was plenty frustration for those in Edinburgh, with many readers believing the city’s tier three lockdown level is unfair.
Jenni Howard said: “Nicola Sturgeon’s own guidelines clearly state any region with 75-100 cases per 100,000 would be tier 2. For weeks Edinburgh has been hovering around 82 cases which makes them tier 2”, Jacqui Gordon added: “I’m not happy Edinburgh is tier 3. I work with 90% people from East Lothian which is tier 2. It makes no sense. Why is there such a difference in such a small area?”.
Some readers felt there were other reasons for keeping Edinburgh at level 3, with Scott Robinson also unhappy at the change for the Capital, saying: “Edinburgh should be tier 2, but are having to stay at 3 to compensate West Lothian", Lee Stewart said: “Seems like Edinburgh is being kept at level 3 as people need to travel from other areas in lower and higher tiers to work.”
On West Lothian’s move to level four, readers expressed their thoughts as they prepare for stricter restrictions than the rest of their region.
Angela McDermott believes a change of plan is needed, she said: “Clearly shutting bars and restaurants is having no effect on the control of the virus.”
MK Lawson Kerr was surprised tougher rules weren’t introduced earlier, saying “Nicola Sturgeon should have placed tier 4 weeks ago”, although they did add the news is “a shame for all the businesses”.
Kelly Hall, however, would like even tougher restrictions from Friday, saying: “Schools should be closed or this is pointless. 30 schools in West Lothian have had Covid-19 cases. Unless they are closed there will be no difference”, meanwhile Yvonne Paul also did not agree with the move, saying: “It’s a joke now. Lothians have over 100 positive cases per day and they are going to level 2, yet those who stay five minutes from there are to stay in tier 3 – absolutely ridiculous.”
Lee-Ann Gilroy, though, believes West Lothian and Midlothian’s change to tier 2 is “possibly a move to stop as much people travelling into Edinburgh.”
Marlene St John Ayre perhaps summed it up for all of us when she commented: “I'm so sick of this virus. It's shocking the damage its done to the economy not to mention lives.”
Ms Sturgeon announced that all changes being made are in the hope that restrictions can be eased before the Christmas period.