People in Perth and Kinross have been warned to stick by the rules, or face tougher restrictions.
The region was put into Tier 2, despite a plea by health chiefs for stricter constraints across the wider Tayside area.
NHS Tayside argued it would be easier to control the virus with a blanket Tier 3 approach.
The proposal was referenced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon this week when she questioned whether having pubs open in Perth and Kinross could draw people from neighbouring areas with higher case numbers.
Negotiations on the region’s status continued well into Wednesday evening.
Perth and Kinross Council leader Murray Lyle, who admitted he was “livid” at the prospect of going into Tier 3, said: “We put up a robust and coherent case to remain below level three, and I’m grateful that the decision-makers took that on board and came back with what I believe is the right decision.
“Equally, I would say it is now up to the good folks of Perth and Kinross to adhere to the restrictions that are upon us and try and drive down this virus.”
Stephen Leckie, chief executive of Crieff Hydro hotels added: “We understand that the Scottish Government has a tightrope to walk when it comes to allocating Tiers, and we are grateful that it has taken the decision to not group Perth and Kinross with other regions who are unfortunately experiencing higher levels of Covid infections.”
Mr Leckie, who is president of Perthshire Chamber of Commerce, added: “But of course, these restrictions are making trade extremely difficult across a whole range of industries in the country and the announcement today of travel constraints will particularly impact our large tourism and hospitality sector.
“We therefore call on the Scottish Government to urgently provide a strengthened financial support package that our local businesses can access easily and quickly.
“Without this, we face the very real prospect of businesses not being able to afford to continue trading and, inevitably, widespread job losses.”
Perth businesswoman Dawn Fuge, who co-chairs the Perth Traders Association, said the Tier 2 decision would be welcomed by locals. “Anybody, anywhere in Perth and Kinross who is able to continue trading will be breathing a sigh of relief,” she said.
“We now have to keep abiding by the rules and the more we do so, the better it will be for all of us.
“Perth is quite a small place and that makes it easier for us to stick to the regulations, so it would be awful if we were lumped in with another region which had more Covid than we do. That is the struggle that we face from now.”
Ms Fuge said it had been heartening to meet customers who told her they were making a point of shopping locally, in independent stores. “Fingers crossed there’s going to be even more of that,” she said.
Eve Taylor, general manager at Perth’s Twa Tams pub/restaurant said: “I think most places will be happy to hear we’re in Tier 2. It’s not easy to run a pub when you can’t sell alcohol inside, but this seems to be a good balance between keeping businesses open and keeping people safe.
“It seems to be the responsible thing to do.”
The pub has been forced to scale back opening hours because of a downturn in trade. The establishment will close from October 31 for refurbishment and staff training. It expects to relaunch on November 13.
Tory MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife praised the Mr Lyle fought his corner during negotiations and said that speaking out against NHS Tayside’s plan was instrumental to the Scottish Government’s decision.
“It’s important to stress how a large part of this decision was down to the lobbying of Murray Lyle, a fact that Nicola Sturgeon essentially acknowledged today at Holyrood,” he said.
Perthshire North MSP John Swinney urged locals to stay vigilant.
“Covid is a significant threat to us all and members of the public have done so much to help tackle the virus,” he said.
“The fact that our neighbours in Dundee have been placed in level three demonstrates the need for vigilance and care, especially as we depend on acute hospital services in the City of Dundee.”
SNP MP Pete Wishart also welcomed the area’s Tier 2 status, but criticised Mr Lyle for speaking out about the ongoing negotiations.
“I’m sure that businesses and communities right across Perthshire will be relieved to be in Level 2 and I welcome this designation,” he said. “However, we do border Dundee and we do use the services in the city, serving as it does the whole Tayside area.
“It is now up to all of us in Perthshire to ensure we take on this pandemic, make careful decisions about accessing higher tiered area and ensure that they comply fully with what is being asked.”