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Common Riding | 1st July 2021

COVID puts paid to second Common Riding

Members reluctantly cancel Langholm’s 2021 event


LANGHOLM Common Riding is cancelled for the second year running, the E&L Advertiser can reveal.

The members of Langholm Common Riding met on Monday to discuss the arrangements for this year’s event.

It was decided that, as with last year and with equal regret, Common Riding 2021 would be cancelled.

They will hold another meeting this month to finalise various arrangements, including the possibility of a concert with presentations to diamond jubilee, jubilee, and semi-jubilee Cornets as well as the laying of a wreath at the war memorial on Sunday, July 25.

It was agreed to sponsor the hound trail and Langholm Horse Racing Association meetings planned for Saturday, July 31.

The members will, once again, ensure the boundaries are marked at some point.

The decision comes as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Langholm and Eskdale.

Social interaction is being linked to the rise in cases in Dumfries and Galloway.

There were 209 new cases in the week ending June 25 compared with 162 the previous week.

Of those cases reported, three were in Langholm and Eskdale, although it is believed the true figure is higher.

NHS Dumfries & Galloway says interaction during the European football championships is among the factors contributing to an increasing number of cases.

In Annandale and Eskdale Eastriggs has 20 cases, Annan East has six, Annandale East has five, Lochmaben, Gretna and Moffat have five, while in Lockerbie and Annandale West the virus is suppressed.

Dr Andrew Rideout, consultant in public health, said: “The Delta variant is more transmissible so it doesn’t take very much for it to move from person to person.

“That’s why it’s so important we continue to follow the guidance on distancing, hand-washing and wearing face coverings while our vaccination programme has the time to complete first and second doses and give the highest degree of protection.”

New data reveal just how transmissible the variant is.

Dr Rideout added: “Our new data show 58 per cent of people, who were identified as close contacts of someone with COVID-19, developed the virus themselves.

“A total of 61 per cent of positive cases resulted through non-household and non-workplace encounters. 

“We’re dealing with a number of cases which resulted from interaction during the Euros which may have made it more difficult to ensure we were strictly adhering to the rules.

“It’s so important we follow them at all times to limit the spread and the resulting impact on our communities.

“We’re seeing people of various ages being admitted to hospital with COVID-19.

“The response to increased cases puts real pressures on the ability of services to operate and businesses to function.

“A key to all this is taking up quick and easy opportunities to get tested.

“This is particularly true if you plan to meet people as rules allow or travel outwith the region.

“Twice-weekly testing is available everywhere in Scotland for free.

“There’s a range of easy to access means, including picking up a kit from a pharmacy.

“Our vaccination programme is going really well and we’re only too well aware of how serious a position we would be in if it wasn’t taking place.

“We need everyone’s help to give the programme enough time to complete its work and allow us to live alongside this potentially very serious virus.”

For more information on testing arrangements, visit 

Colin Smyth, South Scotland MSP, has urged the Scottish government to roll out walk-in vaccination centres in the region as cases surge.

He said: “These figures are frightening and the government must act to ensure as many people as possible have at least some protection and as quickly as possible.

“Both governments say lockdowns are no longer on the cards as we move into this new stage of the pandemic and vaccination is going to be key to stopping the spread.”

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