They came in their hundreds to the Loch Lomond area, doubtless desperate to get some fresh air and fine views after weeks of relative isolation.

But the heart did not leap to see so many wilfully ignoring any pretence of social distancing, or taking the most modest precautions.

Anyone who has seen footage of how this virus can ravage respiratory systems – even among younger, healthy people – would not be so cavalier with their own and the public’s safety.

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Anyone who has spent the last 10 weeks hardly moving from their own doorsteps will hardly thank the thoughtless for risking us having to batten down the hatches all over again.

Unfortunately the decision by the UK government to unlock England faster than every other part of the UK has well and truly muddled the message.

Added to which, that nice Mr Cummings and his unbridled sense of entitlement has merely given everyone an alibi for breaching long established guidelines.

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While I’m very much aware of being privileged, having a lovely Loch Long view myself, Loch Lomond and all our favourite beauty spots are not yet open for normal business – not least since there are not yet visitors’ toilet facilities available, and nobody fancies their neighbourhood becoming a de facto public lavatory.

It’s grand that folks can see their families again outdoors and at a suitable distance. For many, that separation has been the hardest part of all. Let’s not throw all these sacrifices away.

READ MORE: Catch up with all the latest news headlines from across Helensburgh and Lomond here