The leader of North Ayrshire Council is urging residents to stick to the guidelines and keep up the good work that prevented the authority from moving to level four restrictions.

In the latest Scottish Government update, East and South Ayrshire were announced to have increased restrictions from Friday at 6pm.

However, North Ayrshire will remain in level three for the current time unless cases start rising again in the authority.

Council leader Joe Cullinane has said there can be no room for complacency, while praising the efforts and sacrifices of North Ayrshire residents so far.

He said: “While I’ve been proud of the Council’s response to the pandemic, I am in awe of the sacrifices made by people across North Ayrshire, and in the last few weeks infection rates in this area has halved.

“That collective effort has helped keep us out of level four and I am pleased that level three remains the correct level for North Ayrshire given our current trajectory but we have to stick with it and follow the guidelines.

“Our aim shouldn’t be avoiding level four restrictions – we want to see the number of cases drop to a level which will allow is to go down from level three to level two.

“Every one of us has a part to play and we will soon be launching a campaign focused on suppressing the virus further in advance of Christmas.”

Residents should be aware that people living in level three or level four must not travel outside their own council area, except for certain essential purposes and the guidance on travel restrictions will become law from Friday.

Councillor Cullinane has stressed that his administration will do all they can to keep helping residents and businesses struggling during the current restrictions.

He said: “Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on every facet of our lives. We will continue to offer the help we have given people in recent months.

“However, if you are struggling, please reach out to someone, a family member or a friend. Please don’t suffer alone.

“Likewise, we will continue to work with businesses who are struggling. We have support mechanisms in place, and we would urge businesses to see what support might be available to them.”