As Dundee is placed under Level 3 measures (from Monday Nov 2) in the fight against Coronavirus, city leaders are urging the city’s people to get behind the new effort to drive down the number of local cases.
Council leader John Alexander and Lord Provost Ian Borthwick are calling on residents to support the rules and suppress the virus.
They are highlighting the work that local agencies are putting in to offer support and assistance to vulnerable individuals and local businesses.
Dundee City Council has produced a Frequently Asked Questions page on its website to explain the new measures for the city and the implications they will have on everyday life.
They include restrictions on non-essential travel into and out of the area, additional precautions in schools and the closure of all leisure and entertainment venues. Pubs, restaurants and cafes can open until 6pm but cannot sell alcohol.
Lord Provost Ian Borthwick said: “These new restrictions have been put in place because of the worrying situation that has emerged across Dundee.
“We all need to show a renewed determination to help reduce the number of cases by carefully following the new rules.
“There will be better days ahead but we have to continue to make sacrifices for the greater good.
“I realise that life has been hard and the continuing restrictions on household visits mean that many people and their families are being kept apart for longer.
“I would ask us all to continue to take our responsibilities extremely seriously and be cautious in the way we act. We cannot take risks because the virus has the potential to cause enormous damage to lives. More…
“I am impressed by the resilience that the people of Dundee are showing and would ask everyone to play their part, no matter how small, as it will make a big difference.
“The sooner we act, the sooner we can reduce the spread of the virus and the level of restrictions that we are living with.”
The city council and its partners in the wider Dundee Partnership, including NHS Tayside, have been working together to prepare for the new measures.
Council leader John Alexander explained: “Our strong partnerships will help us to support the city through this difficult period, which is the biggest public health emergency of our lifetimes.
“It has been an exhausting year and I realise that people have given up so much over the course of 2020.
“I would ask that they look carefully at the new guidance which we are publicising to inform them about how they can guard against virus spread, and also reduce the risk that additional restrictions might be imposed in the future.
“Many of the restrictions have been in place for some time, but extra measures like advice to avoid non-essential travel in and out of Dundee will make it feel different again.
“Scientific data makes it clear that transmission of the virus is happening in areas across Dundee and I would ask everyone to make sure they know what they can and cannot do, and stick with it for everyone’s benefit.”
Councillor Alexander added: “It is absolutely vital that people arm themselves with the most accurate and up-to-date information about the restrictions and any support that is available.
“I know that communities and businesses are struggling.
“However, this is a situation that we are all in together, it will take everyone’s efforts to help keep the number of infections down.
“Throughout this unprecedented crisis, we have seen tremendous community spirit, collective action and resolve here in Dundee.
“Communities have rallied, workers and volunteers have gone above and beyond, businesses have adapted and frontline services have responded tremendously to the most difficult of circumstances.
“That collective courage will stand us in good stead over the winter. Now more than ever, we must remain focused on getting through this, reducing transmission of Coronavirus and saving lives.”
Chief Superintendent Andrew Todd, Tayside Division, said: “Police Scotland is working with a range of partners to support the combined effort to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
“Officers will continue to engage with people to explain the regulations and any new restrictions which may come into force. Where we encounter repeated and persistent breaches we will, as the public would expect, act decisively to enforce the law.
"The Chief Constable has made it clear that we are asking people to take personal responsibility to do the right thing and remember the purpose of these measures is to aid the collective effort to stay safe, protect others and save lives by preventing the virus from spreading.”
Dr Emma Fletcher, Interim Director of Public Health said, "There are no easy solutions and we know that every decision taken has a huge impact for people living in our communities. Our priority is to reduce the direct impact of the virus on our health, to reduce the number of people who will experience long-term effects from the infection and to save lives.
"We must all do everything we can to make it harder for this virus to spread. If we all stick with it and follow the FACTS rules, keep to physical distancing at all times and not visit each other's houses, we can suppress the virus.
"These extra restrictions announced today are vital to stopping the infection spreading further and if we can suppress the virus, our other health and social care services can continue.
"We know the next few months will be exceptionally challenging for everyone, but we are already making plans and preparations for COVID vaccine delivery so that we are ready when one becomes available and life can start to return to normal.
"From all the team in Public Health we would like to thank you for your continued support of the guidance in these really difficult times.”
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%.