Following the imposition of new Coronavirus restrictions in West Dunbartonshire (2nd September 2020), where residents have been advised not to host people from other households in their own homes or visit another person’s home, I have been contacted by a number of constituents who have raised a range of queries that I hope to address here.
To be clear, this is not a return to the full lockdown we have already lived through but is a limited set of restrictions aimed at preventing any further spread in the area. The sharp rise in cases across our community has given cause for concern with evidence showing that transmission of the virus is being primarily driven by indoor household gatherings, not in hospitality settings such as pubs and restaurants where more robust hygiene and physical distancing measures are in place.
The First Minister announced these measures on Tuesday 1st September and the National Clinical Director Jason Leitch underlined the reasoning for this:
“The Test and Protect tracing system has looked at each individual case and the main culprit seems to be indoor house gatherings, call them house parties if you like, sometimes it is just a few too many people not so distanced. That is why we are concentrating our main focus on that group – to try to get people to realise once again it is so dangerous. This virus jumps from person to person and household to household so fast.”
As we are living in unprecedented time I fully appreciate these measures will result in questions and concerns so I have outlined below some exemptions to the new restrictions on indoor gatherings:
Informal childcare is permitted to continue – meaning children can go to their grandparents or a family member’s house for childcare if required (but not for visits outwith childcare arrangements).
TRADESPEOPLE & CARE PROVIDERS
Workers can continue to go into other households to carry out work such as repairs, installations and deliveries. Regulated care providers can still enter a home to provide health and social care to those who need it. Such visits should be subject to a risk assessment as well as ensuring that social distancing and correct wearing of masks is followed where appropriate.
These restrictions are being kept under close review and it is hoped that with this early, targeted action we can return to some form of normality in two weeks’ time. Nobody wants to see further lockdown measures being re-imposed which is why it’s so important that everyone follows the public health guidelines put in place.
The latest up-to-date guidance for West Dunbartonshire is available on the Scottish Government’s website: www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-local-measures/pages/west-dunbartonshire/
Thank you for your understanding during this time. The weeks ahead are going to be challenging and we all have a role to play in taking care of our loved ones and looking out for others.
Martin Docherty-Hughes MP