Council leader backs islands decision

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The leader of Argyll and Bute Council has welcomed news that Scotland’s island communities will be aligned with the mainland as it moves out of Covid-19 restrictions.

There had been concern that the islands might be left behind with rules there being different to those on the mainland, causing confusion for both residents, businesses and visitors.

At a virtual meeting of the full council on Thursday (April 15), councillor Robin Currie, the council leader who lives on Islay, welcomed the announcement by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Island communities have been in level three for some time and now the whole of Scotland will move to that level on Monday, April 26.

It will allow people to move more freely between the islands and the mainland.

Further lowering of tiers is planned across Scotland during May and June, depending on the rate of coronavirus continuing to fall.

Councillor Currie told the meeting: ‘I have had every possible opportunity over the last few months to make the case for our island communities when it comes to the easing of restrictions.

‘Since the turn of the year, and since the robust proposals were revealed some weeks ago, I have had countless representations from people and businesses who have been desperate for clarity.

‘I was therefore delighted at this week’s announcement confirming that our island communities will be treated the same as the mainland.

‘This gives them certainty that they will now be able to start making plans again, whether to see their families on the mainland or those families to come to them.

‘Like us all, I am looking forward to more normal times in the coming weeks as we move down the levels, should the data support this. It is very welcome news.’