Published: Friday, 5th June 2020
We are joining with NHS Borders to urge everyone to continue to act responsibly after the easing of some COVID-19 restrictions.
We are now in the first phase of the Scottish Government's route map for moving out of lockdown.
However, while many of us have followed the guidance in place there have been some instances of people meeting in groups of more than two households, carrying out unnecessary travel and not observing social distancing advice.
Tracey Logan, Chief Executive of SBC:
"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.
“I also know residents who are currently shielding are being asked to remain at home for the time being. I realise the sacrifices these people are having to make but would like to reassure them that we will continue to give them all the support they need. Our Community Assistance Hubs can provide help with food, shopping and delivery of medication as well as regular check-ins to see that everything is okay. If anyone needs support please visit our website or call 0300 100 1800.”
Ralph Roberts, Chief Executive of NHS Borders:
“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. Please also remember to follow the advice on hand hygiene, physical distancing and self-isolation if you or a family member is experiencing any symptoms of the virus.
"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. I would therefore ask that you follow any information or requests that are made if you need to attend one of our healthcare premises.
"Please remember that the NHS is open and should you have any concerns about your health please do not hesitate to contact us through the normal routes."