HELENSBURGH and Lomond’s move into Level 1 of Scotland’s lockdown restrictions has, unsurprisingly, been warmly welcomed by the area’s MSP.

Local people, along with those living in the rest of Argyll and Bute, and also in neighbouring West Dunbartonshire, will see regulations eased from a minute past midnight on Saturday due to consistently low levels of Covid-19 cases.

But Jackie Baillie says it’s vital for people to continue to attend appointments for either their first or second vaccines when they’re invited to do so.

The rule changes which will take effect on Saturday include up to eight people from three households being able to meet in indoor public places; up to 12 people from 12 households able to meet outdoors; 100 people can attend weddings and funerals, instead of the 50 limit under Level 2; and singing can resume in churches.

Ms Baillie welcomed the relaxation of the rules – which will apply across the whole of her Dumbarton constituency from Saturday – but called on local people to continue to follow the restrictions that are in place and to get their vaccine when it is offered.

She said: “This move to level one will certainly come as good news to our community. I want to thank local people for following the rules as the situation has developed. Their cautiousness and willingness to follow restrictions has made this move to level one possible.

READ MORE: What the latest lockdown update means for you

“To ensure that we remain in Level 1, and indeed move down to Level 0 in the coming weeks, it is vitally important that everyone attends their vaccine appointment when they are invited to do so.

“The vaccine hugely reduces the severity of the virus which eases pressure on our NHS.

“I also encourage everyone to take advantage of the free tests that you can obtain – we should all be testing ourselves regularly, regardless of symptoms, in order to ensure that we are not spreading and passing on the virus to others.

“I am glad that this easing in restrictions will allow for a greater sense of normality to return and for local businesses to continue to recover.”

Meanwhile, there have been no deaths in Argyll and Bute linked to Covid-19 for a 10th week running, according to figures published by the National Records of Scotland as the Advertiser went to press on Wednesday.

The latest update means the total number of lives lost in the area to Covid remains at 106, with 20 of those recorded since the start of this year.