Borderers urged to stay within five-mile radius of their homes

Health and council bosses are urging Borderers not to travel more than five miles from their homes in a bid to continue to keep the Covid-19 pandemic at bay.

Monday, 8th June 2020, 6:23 pm
Updated Monday, 8th June 2020, 6:54 pm
Borderers are being urged to limit themselves to 10-mile round trips away from their homes, a small fraction of the controversial journey of almost 600 miles made by UK Government aide Dominic Cummings, pictured here in London on June 3, starting at the end of April. (Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP via Getty Images)

The number of new cases of coronavirus being reported in the region have slowed to a trickle over the last couple of weeks, but it is feared that unnecessary travel and a failure to observe social distancing could risk a fresh rise in cases.

Scottish Borders Council chief executive Tracey Logan and Ralph Roberts, her opposite number at NHS Borders, have issued a joint plea to people to continue to act responsibly as lockdown rules are eased.

That includes, if possible, restricting journeys to 10-mile round trips – around a 60th of the distance covered by UK Government adviser Dominic Cummings during his controversial trip from London to County Durham at the end of March and into April in apparent breach of lockdown rules.

Sign up to our daily The Southern Reporter Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Ms Logan said: “We’ve only been able to reach this stage thanks to our residents staying at home, only making essential journeys, observing social distancing guidelines and washing their hands regularly. I want to thank everyone for playing their part.

“We can now meet up with other households outdoors, and I know families and friends across the Borders have been making the most of the opportunity to see each other again.

“You do still need to keep at least two metres apart, though, stay outdoors, and wash your hands regularly.

“People are now allowed to sit in parks and open areas, and travel within their local area for exercise or recreation.

“While we have so many beautiful places to visit in our region I’d strongly advise everyone to follow the national guidelines by not travelling more than five miles from your home.

“While we can now enjoy slightly more freedom, I’d still encourage you to stay at home as much as possible to help limit the spread of the virus.

“We have been able to ease restrictions on some services such as reopening community recycling centres, but other council facilities such as playparks and public toilets remain closed.”

Mr Roberts added: “I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone in the Borders for the co-operation you have shown over the last two months in following the guidance on lockdown and restriction of movement.

“All of us in the NHS are very conscious that this has been difficult and will have had a lasting impact on many people in our community.

“However, I am pleased to emphasise that this has worked so far and as a local NHS we have been able to care for all the Covid patients we have seen, whether that was in the community or for those more seriously ill in hospital.

“I am also pleased to advise that over the last month we have seen a steady reduction of patients in hospital who have had or been suspected of having Covid.

“We have therefore now significantly reduced the number of beds set aside for Covid patients.

“However, I recognise that this can easily change and I would therefore encourage everyone to continue to follow the Scottish Government advice as we ease lockdown.

“Covid-19 has already claimed too many lives, and we all have a responsibility to ensure that we do everything we can do to protect our local community, family and friends.

“We are now working hard to look at how we can reintroduce the services we needed to pause while we responded to Covid.

“Because of the continuing risk with Covid, this will mean though that some of our services will be provided differently so that we can keep our patients and staff safe.”