Shoppers taking to the town this weekend have been urged to help prevent the spread of coronavirus as Stirling enters Tier 3 restrictions.
Local leaders have reminded residents of the importance of safety to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the run up to Christmas after Stirling was taken out of Tier 4 on Friday (December 11).
Residents have been encouraged to stay safe by wearing face masks, clean their hands regularly, follow social distancing and to avoid the city centre and self-isolate if they are showing coronavirus symptoms.
The leader of Stirling Council, Scott Farmer, has welcomed the benefits that Tier 3 will have to the local economy and has made a plea to the people of Stirling as the city centre is expected to get busier in the run up to Christmas.
“The re-opening of all shops and the partial easing of restrictions in the hospitality sector is a welcome boost as we head into the busy Christmas period.
“I know residents will be keen to support local businesses in this challenging time but with the virus still very much a risk, I would encourage people to plan ahead, and act in a safe and responsible manner on the high street.
“Follow the rules in place, including on travel, and remember FACTS to reduce the risk of infection.”
Stirling’s annual Christmas safety scheme Operation Steadfast Festive has returned, with a mobile police station being parked in the city centre and police officers carrying out extra foot patrols.
Stirling was placed under Tier 4 restrictions on November 20 and spent three weeks under Scotland’s toughest coronavirus restrictions, forcing businesses to close.
The area was lowered to Tier 3 at 6pm on Friday, December 11, which allowed non-essential shops and hospitality venues to open to the public for eating in and non-alcoholic drinks.
The move to Tier 3 has allowed the Thistles Centre to be open from 8am to 8pm up until December 23 and for the Farmer’s Market on Port Street to go ahead on December 19.
The expected boost for local business this close to Christmas has been welcomed by Go Forth Stirling Business Improvement District.
Go Forth Stirling BID Project Director, Danielle McRorie-Smith said: “We welcome the safe return of our retailers from December 11 and would encourage customers to support Stirling City centre by purchasing their Christmas gifts from our high street.
“We’re fortunate that our city is home to some outstanding independents, offering unique Christmas gifts, and big brands that are a popular choice all year round, but especially at Christmas.
“The city’s Christmas lights are lit and there’s a welcoming atmosphere in which to enjoy some retail therapy this Christmas. Please help our local businesses by adhering to rules and being patient – we look forward to seeing shoppers return safely this weekend.”