THE coronavirus outbreak at the East Lothian Community Hospital and tightened lockdown re-imposed in the west of Scotland show the need for vigilance.

Outbreaks can occur in even the most rigorous of regimes. But for youngsters’ welfare, it’s vital we try to keep schools open, hence why action has been required.

Restrictions on socialising are a blow to many and it’s difficult for the hospitality sector to adjust. But done it must be and we’ll all just have to endure for a while.

Organisations such as Alcoholics Anonymous and others for issues great and small rely heavily on meetings and mutual support. They’ve had to be curtailed and, though Zoom and other methods offer some engagement, it’s not the same. To allow them to function as normal, we need to get the virus under control.

That’s why the new app is also important. It might not be available to everyone and can depend on the age of your smartphone. But everyone who can should download it as it’s another important method of tracking and tracing, and suppressing, the virus.

Nationally, the BBC hasn’t covered itself in glory recently with its abolition of free licences for over-75s. But the decision to cease the regular coverage of the First Minister’s briefings are a new nadir. Many, especially those housebound, welcomed it and information is critical. Nicola Sturgeon has been outstanding in her communication skills and this seems prejudiced and yet harmful. I’m a supporter of the BBC as it can be, with wonderful programmes and fearless broadcasting. But this isn’t it. The appointment of a former Tory candidate as director general, along with other recent failings, make me fear its future.

But that’s the way of things under this Johnson regime. The decision to break international law is staggering. Governments can by error break laws but immediately seek to remedy it. This deliberate flouting of it is a dark day for a democracy.