FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon says Inverclyde could see its coronavirus restrictions eased to Level 2 soon if the district continues to 'make progress'.

Ms Sturgeon made the comment after she confirmed the area had avoided lockdown by staying in tier three of the rules regime, while 11 other local authorities were moved into Level 4, the toughest band.

The FM said Inverclyde - along with other places remaining in tier three - was making progress but added that this was 'fragile'.

Ms Sturgeon added: "If that progress continues we are hopeful that these areas will move to Level 2 soon."

The government published the reasons for its decision on Inverclyde, saying cases and test positivity here had been 'consistently decreasing over the last week'.

Their document said: "The increase in case numbers and positivity observed last week has improved and picture is now improving.

"Although still within NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, the position in Inverclyde is more positive than other local authorities within this health board.

"It is therefore not proportionate to move Inverclyde to Level 4."

The leader of the council along has now united with the area’s Holyrood and Westminster representatives to urge everyone to stick with the coronavirus rules.

Councillor Stephen McCabe, Ronnie Cowan MP and Stuart McMillan MSP issued a joint statement reminding local people of the dangers of Covid-19 and the importance of following all the health and safety rules, especially with Christmas on the horizon.

In the statement, they said: “It’s our public duty to continue to follow the rules to help protect ourselves and each other, especially the most vulnerable in our communities.

“It feels never-ending and it’s easy to become complacent and let our guard down.

"But the fluctuation in infection rates is another stark reminder that this virus is still present in our communities and therefore we all must do our bit to help keep transmission at bay.

“That includes keeping a two-metre distance where possible at all times, wearing a face covering, washing your hands regularly, not having people from outwith your own household in your home, and self-isolating and booking a test if you display symptoms of the virus.

“While the wearing of face coverings in public settings is an important tool, they are not a substitute for social-distancing.

"They don’t protect against this awful virus but offer an additional layer of protection.

“The safety rules are simple to follow and they really do make a difference in the fight against coronavirus.

"They take on even greater significance at this time of year with Christmas, and all that comes with it, just around the corner.

“While we’re eager for Inverclyde’s national restriction level to be lowered to help struggling local businesses and allow us to reunite with friends and family in a safe way, this will only happen if we all continue to stick to the rules to drive down the rate of infection.

“Whether it’s for yourself, your family, your friends or whoever, please keep at it.”

The restrictions currently in place for Inverclyde under Level 3 mean hospitality venues cannot sell alcohol and must close by 6pm.

No one should travel outside the local authority area unless for essential purposes such as for work, healthcare or caring responsibilities.

People are being encouraged to stay at home as much as possible, unless they have to go out for essential reasons, but a maximum of six people from two different households can meet in an outdoor public place or in a café or restaurant, for example.

Full details about what people can and cannot do under Level 3 are available at and more information about services and support locally can be found at

* Signs of coronavirus are a new continuous cough, high temperature or loss/change of taste or smell. Anyone who displays any of these symptoms and everyone who lives with them must stay at home and get a test straight away. Tests can be booked online at or by calling 0800 028 2816.