Dundee’s civic leaders today encouraged city residents young and old to “stick with it” as new restrictions to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) come into effect.
The updated nationwide measures announced this week include a ban on visits to other households, except for some limited exemptions, and a 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants which begins tonight.
People are also being asked to continue working from home wherever possible, and there are new restrictions on car sharing.
Council leader John Alexander and Lord Provost Ian Borthwick acknowledged the day-to-day “sacrifices” that the fight against Coronavirus required, but stressed that these were as important now as during lockdown earlier in the year.
Lord Provost Borthwick said: “Hard though it is, we all must keep doing our bit to limit the spread of this awful virus.
“People and businesses across the city have responded in the right fashion throughout this pandemic, with kindness, care and conviction, and I’m sure that will continue in this new phase.
“The things we once took for granted – visiting loved ones, the company of friends and colleagues, attending big events or sporting fixtures and more – will return. We can look forward to better days ahead.
“But for now, we must remember that Coronavirus lives right here in our communities, and has already claimed many lives.
“As winter approaches, we have a responsibility to ourselves and those we love to follow the rules, stick to the FACTS hygiene guidance and help keep everybody safe.”
In line with yesterday’s announcement, the Council will have a key role in providing support to those who have to self-isolate as part of the Test and Protect system.
Council teams will also work to support businesses, while ensuring that the latest regulations are understood and followed by everyone.
Councillor Alexander stressed that people and businesses should abide by the rules because it’s the right thing to do, not because there are penalties for non-compliance.
“The effort to prevent the spread of Coronavirus involves young and old, individuals and businesses, and though the sacrifices we are being asked to make are difficult, we must stick with it,” he said.
“Resist the urge to pop round to a friend or family member’s house for a cup of tea, to hold a drinks gathering at home or to visit the local shop if you have been asked to self-isolate. These are the things which allow the virus to spread.
“Remember, too, that this is not the same as lockdown. There are still ways to safely meet loved ones, either outdoors or in pubs and restaurants, following social distancing and the rule of six people from no more than two households.
“Extended households, as long as they strictly follow the guidance, are also a good way of providing support to those who live alone or are alone with children.
“Children can play together too, as well as attending school. We’ve come a long way since the spring, but it remains as important as ever that we don’t let our guard down and return to the infection rates, hospital admissions and, sadly, deaths of earlier this year.”
Since lockdown was announced six month ago, the Council has continued to provide essential services, responded with its partners to local outbreaks and progressed its recovery plans.
Councillor Alexander added: “I remain hugely grateful to everyone within the Council, the wider partnerships and indeed across the city for their ongoing efforts in responding to this unprecedented and unforeseen public health crisis.”
Dundee draws skilled workers from a 60-minute catchment population of 640,000 and has a local population of over 140,000. The availability of a large pool of highly skilled labour is a key feature in the Dundee economy. Flexibility in the labour force is currently more prevalent in Dundee than in Scotland as a whole. All forms of labour market flexibility - part-time, temporary employment, self-employment and shift work - are widely operational within the city. Labour force stability in the city is excellent, enabling companies to plan with confidence. Labour turnover levels are less than 5% and absenteeism averages 2%.