Coronavirus: NHS Forth Valley expert has hopeful festive season message

The director of public health for Forth Valley believes if people adhere to COVID-19 guidelines now we may just have less restrictions to endure over Christmas and New Year.

By James Trimble
Monday, 2nd November 2020, 4:24 pm

Speaking during an online press briefing earlier today, Dr Graham Foster said: “Of course it’s too early to make any promises about Christmas – but the best way we can protect the festive season is to follow the restrictions now and get the figures down.

“We need people to understand the virus is back just now and now is the time to follow the restrictions.”

Dr Foster revealed his frustration at how close the Forth Valley area – and Scotland – came to getting rid of the coronavirus completely.

Dr Graham Foster, NHS Forth Valley director of public health, wants people to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines now in order to have the chance of enjoying less restrictions over the festive season

“We did really well and almost entirely eliminated the virus in the summer. Then we removed a lot of restrictions and allowed a lot of travel, which led to COVID-19 coming back into Scotland from lots of places.

He is in no doubt about what is facilitating the so called second wave of COVID-19 which is hitting the area right now.

“The thing that is spreading the virus is indoor social gatherings. The virus is here now and it is only allowed to spread because we give it bridges to do so. It’s here, it’s real and we need to stop giving it bridges to allow it to spread between people.

“We have to ask people not to move about so much – the most important thing is to stay two metres away from others. We’ve heard about people wearing face coverings and getting close together.

“Face coverings don’t protect you – they don’t make you immune. You still have to stay two metres apart.”

He added that if someone is displaying symptoms then they should self isolate and only go outside to be tested.

“And only travel if it’s absolutely essential – we need people to travel less and no car sharing. There have been a lot of new cases from when people have shared a car with someone.

“And if you do have to car share, keep the journey as shot as possible. The virus is here to stay and it’s not going to go away magically. It continues to be a big challenge."