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NHS Highland is urging caution as it reports ‘a significant increase’ in cases of Covid-19, particularly in Argyll and Bute.
In the first two weeks of June there has been more than double the number of cases in the area compared to the whole of May.
The increase has been particularly marked in Oban and Helensburgh and there is a small cluster on Islay.
Although restrictions have been easing, the health board is reminding people that the virus has not gone away and it is vital that everyone remains cautious.
Dr Tim Allison, director of public health with NHS Highland, said: ‘This has been such a challenging time for our communities but, thanks to everyone and how well they have followed the guidance, we are starting to see more freedom with the move to level one, or level zero for our island communities.
‘However, Covid has not gone away and the rapid increase in Argyll and Bute is concerning.
‘In addition to the impacts on those directly affected by Covid-19, we are seeing wider impacts with local businesses and multiple schools affected.’
Dr Allison is encouraging everyone to follow the guidelines for their area to try to minimise any further spread.
In addition to the rise in cases, there has also been an increase in the Indian or Delta variant which spreads more easily.
People are being asked to familiarise themselves with the symptoms and, if they experience them, to self-isolate immediately and seek a PCR test.
Symptoms include headache, sore muscles and joints, tiredness, sore throat, cold-like symptoms and diarrhoea and vomiting.
It is important to continue to follow FACTS:
- wear a face covering
- avoid crowded places
- clean your hands regularly
- maintain two-metre distance
- self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms
Travel across Scotland and elsewhere in the UK is something people can enjoy again but NHS Highland is appealing for caution from anyone who is travelling, particularly if they are going to an area that has a higher number of cases as this risks bringing infection back to local communities.
Those who do visit areas with a high rate of infection are asked to limit their contact with others on their return to minimise any potential spread.