Midlothian coronavirus cases spiral as area moves into Level 2

A primary school closed after a Covid outbreak is to remain shut for another week as cases continue to increase.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 5:02 pm
Despite the recent rise in Midlothian cases, the county moved into Level 2 of coronavirus restrictions on Monday. Photo by Lisa Ferguson. THE HUXLEY, ALCOHOL IS PERMITTED TO BE SERVED WTH FOOD INDOORS UNTIL 1030PM The next big step in lockdown easing will take place from Monday, 17 May. Most councils move from level three to level two where indoor socialising without the two metre rule is allowed. Find out which council is in which level. Most areas will move to this level which allows six people from three households to meet inside and stay overnight. There is no need to physically distance from family and friends in a private home. Travel around Scotland is permitted but you cannot enter somewhere with level three restrictions. You can also go to other parts of the UK as long as you follow their rules. Shops and leisure attractions are open, but soft play, funfairs and nightclubs remain closed. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed on Tuesday that the majority of Scotland will be moving down to Level 2 from Monday, May 17. The outbreak of coronavirus in Moray and Glasgow, however, has prompted the Scottish government to keep those areas under stricter restrictions in Level 3 until their rate of infection reduces. In the rest of Scotland, rules which are going to be relaxed include physical distancing rules – meaning hugs will be allowed – the number of people allowed to socialise both indoors and outdoors, and the reopening of cinemas. Scots will once again be allowed to hug one another in homes and gardens from Monday, May 17. The Scottish Government believes transmission of the virus is at low enough levels - and uptake of the Covid-19 vaccines at high enough levels - to relax physical distancing rules. Up to six people from three households will be allowed to meet indoors in private homes from Monday. The rule will also be relaxed to allow for overnight visits. Outdoor socialising From May 17 Scots

Midlothian has seen positive cases spiral over the last two weeks from just two a week to 47 cases in the most recent seven-day period.

Health chiefs have insisted that a spike in Pentland, where 32 of the most recent cases were recorded, is not down to any “particular setting or age group”. However, it is being linked locally to a primary school in Penicuik which closed last week due to the number of children and staff self-isolating.

Midlothian Council has confirmed that Mauricewood Primary School is to remain closed this week after shutting its doors on Tuesday last week following consultation with Public Health Scotland and Scottish Government.

And, education chiefs wrote to parents and carers of students at neighbouring Beeslack High School on Saturday informing them of the decision to return younger children to remote learning.

Speaking about Mauricewood, Kevin Anderson, the council’s executive director (place), said: “We have continued to review the situation as this week progresses and parents and carers have been advised that remote learning is extending into this week. This has not been a decision that has been taken lightly but will ensure that learning can continue, albeit remotely.”

The rest of the county remains practically Covid free, but the sudden spike at Pentland, with six cases also in neighbouring Roslin and Bilston, is pushing up the case rate.