POLICE enforcement of lockdown restrictions around a cross-border cluster of coronavirus cases will be used as a “last resort”, Scotland’s justice secretary has said.

The outbreak in the Annan and Gretna areas of Dumfries and Galloway means restrictions of a five-mile maximum for non-essential travel remain in place while being eased in the rest of the country.

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A total of 11 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in Scotland yesterday, and with no new deaths the overall toll remains at 2,488.

There were 429 patients in hospital on Friday night, including 19 in intensive care.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “Another day yesterday with no confirmed positive Covid deaths registered in Scotland (and on a weekday too, so without the caveat of lower weekend registrations that applies to Sun/Mon figures).

“Let’s keep at it, to sustain progress. Time to take extra care, not drop our guard.”

you’re not going to see hundreds and hundreds of officers sent down to Annan and Gretna and so on and patrolling the streets

Investigations into the cross-border outbreak have identified 11 cases linked to a Carlisle hospital.

All the cases have been discovered around the Dumfries and Galloway border with England, resulting in the area being put into what is effectively a local lockdown.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said yesterday early indications were that people in the affected areas were taking it seriously.

He said: “The police will take the approach they have taken right throughout the pandemic which is this really common sense, proportionate response.

“So you’re not going to see hundreds and hundreds of officers sent down to Annan and Gretna and so on and patrolling the streets to make sure nobody is going beyond the five-mile limit.”

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He said there was a heavy reliance on self-compliance, which people in Scotland “have been good at”, with an efficient test and protect system also in place.

He added: “Police enforcement will of course where necessary be a last resort as part of that.

“But really this is where the test and protect system comes into its own.”

Speaking about the area’s outbreak yesterday Scotland’s national clinical director Professor Jason Leitch said the action taken in Dumfries has been limited.

He said: “This isn’t a huge outbreak. This is 11 positive cases around Gretna and Annan.

“We have got connections, we know where they are, we know who their contacts are – so we are managing it really well.”

Scots have been urged not to travel across the border to pubs as they reopen in England.

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Elaine Murray, leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, said some complacency over the virus had crept in recently and it was vital to adhere to the guidance.

She said: “This outbreak reminds us that the virus is still circulating. We know it is in the community in Cumbria so it essential that none of us travel to Carlisle for the reopening of the pubs this weekend, however tempting that may be.”

Police Scotland also called for people to follow the rules.

Chief Superintendent Linda Jones, divisional commander for Dumfries and Galloway, said: “The Chief Constable has made it clear that we are asking people to take personal responsibility to do the right thing and remember the purpose of these measures is to aid the collective effort to stay safe, protect others and save lives by preventing the virus from spreading.

“Our officers will continue to engage with the public, explain the legislation and guidance and encourage compliance.”