LAST week’s news that East Lothian was being moved into Level 2 coronavirus restrictions was very welcome, and testament to the efforts of county residents to keep to the rules and guidance resulting in a fall in infection levels.

It really is important now that the easing of restrictions, or indeed the optimistic news about a vaccine, do not lead us to drop our guard – there are still rules and we still must follow them or the infection rate will rise.

I do appreciate, though, that the tiered system has made the rules harder to follow or even sometimes to understand. This was certainly true when current travel restrictions were debated in Parliament last week. Too often, ministers’ attempts to clarify the restrictions left MSPs, never mind anyone watching, more confused than ever.

That is why my colleagues and I did not agree with these travel restrictions being put into law. Yes, we do have to restrict travel, and yes, everyone should abide by the guidance, but we have to be careful we do not criminalise confusion.

Broadly speaking, we are able to travel to other parts of Scotland in Levels 0-2, and can pass through Level 3 or 4 areas to get there, but we should not go to an area in Level 3 or 4. That includes Edinburgh, although there is a fairly long list of exemptions including work, health service appointments and the care of a vulnerable person.

You can see all of the exemptions and much more about travel restrictions at

We will continue to try and get ministers to create rules which are clearer and more consistent, but we really do have to try and follow this and other guidance so that our success in moving to Level 2 is just one more step in getting infection levels down for good.