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Police & partners urge public to stick with physical distancing

Published 15 May 2020

Alongside our partners within the Highlands & Islands, we are collectively asking the public the continue adhering to the physical distancing guidelines to help protect the NHS and save lives.

On behalf Highlands & Islands Divisions, Superintendent Iain MacLelland said: "Up until now, the overwhelming majority of the public has stepped forward – collectively - to help protect the NHS and save lives. Officers and staff in the Highlands & Islands are experiencing high levels of co-operation and consent from our communities as we all play our part to support the application of what I acknowledge are very restrictive measures on personal freedoms.
 
“We continue to be extremely grateful for the public’s support of the role Police Scotland is playing in response to the pandemic and it is my personal plea today for everyone to continue exercising the same self-discipline, commitment and common sense which has, so far, served us well across the Highlands and Islands. As it stands, the guidance is clear – continue to stay at home and practice physical distancing to protect the NHS.  These simple actions are saving lives across all our communities.
 
“Officers will continue to be visible in your community and will engage with people where necessary, explain the legislation and encourage them to comply. Only where people continue to defy the very clear messaging being given will enforcement action be used as last resort."

On behalf of NHS Highland, Caithness GP and District Medical Lead, Dr Alison Brooks said: “After almost eight weeks of lockdown, I can fully appreciate people’s frustrations and desire to get back to their ‘normal’ lives, spending time with friends and family and travelling where they please. However, I cannot emphasise enough, that this is not the time to relax and become complacent.

"In Highland, the vast majority of citizens have followed the social distancing guidance and have avoided unnecessary travel and we are reaping the benefits. Our number of known cases are nowhere near those predicted but, we could, in the blink of an eye, experience a similar situation to that seen in other areas with rapid spread and tragic consequences.

"Personally, as a doctor, I have witnessed the heartbreak and devastation when a family lose a loved one to Covid 19 and I am just so grateful that these numbers have, so far, been few. I have made personal sacrifices, not seeing my grandchildren, my son and his girlfriend or my eldest daughter, since the lockdown but, these are sacrifices that I know are necessary if we are to avoid unnecessary loss of life. So, please continue the social distancing, don’t make unnecessary journeys and help us to protect you.”

Cllr Matthew Reiss, The Highland Council’s Strategic Administration Lead for Emergency Services, said: “Although it has been very hard for everyone in different ways over the past few weeks, your staying at home and compliance with the special measures has clearly helped to delay the spread of the virus amongst our communities. We must continue to follow this path for now until we can safely return to some of the normalities of life which we have come to cherish.”

Cllr Matthew Reiss, The Highland Council’s Strategic Administration Lead for Emergency Services, said: “Although it has been very hard for everyone in different ways over the past few weeks, your staying at home and compliance with the special measures has clearly helped to delay the spread of the virus amongst our communities. We must continue to follow this path for now until we can safely return to some of the normalities of life which we have come to cherish.”

 



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