SNP MSP Ruth Maguire is urging everyone in North Ayrshire to adhere strictly to the new COVID restrictions announced today.

During an emergency recall of the Scottish Parliament, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that from tomorrow and for the duration of January, there will be a legal requirement for everyone in Level 4 areas to stay at home except for essential purposes. This is similar to the lockdown of March last year.

Commenting on the new restrictions, Ruth Maguire said:

“I know how difficult this further lockdown will be for everyone – but it is absolutely necessary to bring this killer virus under control.

“If the country does not act now then we risk the NHS being overwhelmed and even more people will die because of this virus.

“This is not a theoretic risk – it is the desperate reality Scotland faces now and over the coming weeks.

“It is crucial that we all play our part in the national effort. And that means sticking to both the letter and the spirit of the new rules. Do not look for loopholes.

“So please stay at home and don’t go out unless it is entirely necessary. And do not travel beyond your local area if you are going out to exercise.

“If your usual exercise space is busy, don’t add to the crowd. Try somewhere else close by where you are not giving the virus more opportunities to spread.

“We have renewed hope with the rollout beginning of a second vaccine – and they will be delivered to the population as fast as possible – but they can’t protect us all yet.

“So we must not let our guard down. Instead we must re-double our vigilance and stick even more tightly to these toughened new rules.

“These sacrifices are very difficult, they are really tough on everyone but they will not be in place for a moment longer than absolutely necessary. But, unfortunately, they are currently more vital than ever.

“I know everyone in North Ayrshire will play their part in this national effort and together we will get through this.

“So, please, stick to the rules: Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save lives”