The SNP leader of Edinburgh City Council is seeking “urgent” talks with the Scottish Government after no changes were made to coronavirus restrictions in the area.
Adam McVey wants to meet Deputy First Minister John Swinney to get a “full explanation” of the reasons why the authority was not moved down from Level 3 to Level 2.
His comments came as Labour MP for Edinburgh South Ian Murray branded the decision by the Scottish Government a “hammer blow for businesses and jobs” in the capital.
There had been speculation that falling numbers of coronavirus cases could see Edinburgh moved into Level 2.
But First Minister Nicola Sturgeon stressed the need to take a “cautious approach” as she announced the results of the latest review of restrictions.
Ms Sturgeon acknowledged coronavirus levels were “relatively low” in the capital, but said cases had “risen slightly in recent days”.
With the festive season approaching, the First Minister added that a “move to Level 2 in Edinburgh would mean opening up significantly more services in Scotland’s second biggest city in the two weeks before Christmas”.
She said: “That move would carry significant risk of increased transmission. For that reason, we want as much assurance as possible that the situation is as stable as possible before making that move.”
Ms Sturgeon said the situation would be considered again next week.
But Edinburgh City Council leader Mr McVey said when he spoke to Mr Swinney and public health officials on Sunday he “heard nothing to suggest Edinburgh could not now safely move into Level 2”.
The SNP councillor tweeted: “I’ve asked to meet DFM urgently to ensure the Government give a full explanation to the people of Edinburgh on the reasons behind their decision.”
He also said he would be “pressing the case for more resources to support our business further impacted by this decision”.
Mr Murray said: “Edinburgh went into a 16-day targeted lockdown on October 9. We are now at day 60 with no logical explanation of how and when Edinburgh moves to a lower tier.
“The announcement that the capital will remain at tier three, despite widely trailing a move to tier two, is a hammer blow for businesses and jobs at the most important time of the year.
“This is compounded by the SNP Government’s failure to offer adequate support for employers, even though up to £1 billion in funding it has received from the UK Government remains unallocated.”
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