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Dear John,

There was finally some good news in relation to lockdown this week. Travel to see friends or family will be allowed across the Scottish mainland from this Friday. You can also meet up outdoors in groups of six people from six households.

There will be a further relaxation of restrictions from the 26th April when a number of different businesses can reopen. Similarly, travel to the rest of Great Britain will be allowed which I know is very important for a lot of people who have friends and family just over the border.

You can read more information about current restrictions here. If you need any help interpreting the rules I am happy to assist - just get in touch.

Kind regards.

Yours sincerely,

I recently went to get tested as part of NHS Borders symptom free community testing service ran in conjunction with Scottish Fire & Rescue and the British Army. Thankfully, I tested negative!

The NHS is encouraging people who live or work in the Scottish Borders to get tested to help find cases of Covid-19 where people are not showing any symptoms. They say that almost 30% of Covid-19 cases are asymptomatic.

For details on your nearest testing centre and how to book a test click here.
Today, I met virtually with the UK rail minister, Chris Heaton-Harris MP, and the team at Campaign for Borders Rail.

Like them, I want to see the Borders Railway fully reopened. This means that the current line would be extended from Tweedbank onto Hawick and Newcastleton, before connecting with other rail lines in Carlisle.

The minister was very positive and impressed by the professional standard of the work produced by Simon and his team at the campaign.

I continue to raise this important issue at the highest levels of government, as well as locally with my colleagues in Scottish Borders Council who are supportive of the project.

His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh epitomised service to the country. His service during WWII, along with hundreds of thousands of other British men and women, helped secure a brighter future for the United Kingdom, Europe, and the World.

However, his service did not end there. His support to Her Majesty The Queen, the charities of which he was patron, and as an ambassador for the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, were exemplary.     
He was known to visit the Scottish Borders regularly, including when supporting Her Majesty to attend the reopening of the Borders Railway. He also attended my local church in Coldstream which members of the congregation remember fondly.

May he rest in peace.

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