OUR latest Councillor Column is written by Argyll and Bute Provost and policy lead for planning and regulatory services, Cllr David Kinniburgh.

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WHILE the majority of the restrictions we have been living with for the last 18 months have been lifted, it is evident that Covid-19 is an issue that we are going to have to learn to live with in the future.

And while restrictions are being eased, I personally feel that people and businesses are becoming slightly more relaxed about our new found freedoms than they perhaps should be.

There is no doubt in my mind that the vaccine is the best way to combat Covid-19 but subconsciously are we relying too much on it?

We still need to be vigilant when going about our daily lives. For example, while in supermarkets over the last few weeks, I have been conscious that if you stop to make use of a sanitising station to sanitise a trolley or basket, there are a greater number of customers filing past without making use of this facility.

In my experience, businesses are not servicing sanitising stations regularly, and coming across sanitiser dispensers that are empty is becoming a regular occurrence.

READ MORE: Ruth Wishart - Time to put the safety of young people first with Covid vaccine

Caledonian MacBrayne recently reported that only around half of passengers on board the company’s ferries were adhering to the legal requirement to wear a face mask while travelling on public transport. This is a trend that seems to be occurring in other public places even though the wearing of face coverings in such circumstances is still compulsory.

One other area that is still a legal requirement in the hospitality industry is the collection of contact details, and in my experience this can best be described as sporadic. But like face coverings, getting the vaccine, hand washing, regular testing, keeping a distance and so on, providing and collection of customers’ contact details is a basic step businesses should all be taking to stay safe and to protect others around us.

The SNP/Green coalition at Holyrood has announced that vaccination certificates, or ‘vaccine passports’, will be compulsory to gain entry to certain settings and events from Friday, October 1 onwards.

While vaccination passports could perhaps be useful going forward, their introduction at the moment has too many unknowns – for example, exactly what is a nightclub? – and being able to prove that you have had the vaccine does not prove you are not carrying the virus.

So it occurs to me that their introduction just creates another layer of guidance and legislation to digest on the Scottish Government website.

At present, if you try following the government’s website, it can be a bit like wading through treacle - when we should be concentrating more on simplifying and promoting the message of getting the basics right.