Anti-lockdown campaigners planning to head to Edinburgh for a march have been told to stay away by the city’s council leader.
Adam McVey’s comments come after Police Scotland warned members of the public not to attend a planned demonstration in Edinburgh on Monday.
The Scotland Against Lockdown group, which organises events on social media, announced last week plans to “march for freedom” through the capital from Holyrood to the First Minister’s residence at Bute House.
Under current Scottish Government coronavirus regulations, marches and protests are banned.
Mr McVey said: “We’ve been liaising with Police Scotland and we fully support their advice that people should stay at home.
“While people are entitled to express their opinions, to do so in this way and at this time puts our residents at unnecessary additional risk.
“This simply isn’t safe. To attend a protest like this now would be incredibly selfish and those doing so would be putting our families and communities at greater risk when numbers of transmissions are already far too high in Edinburgh.
“This attempt to create a crowd is utterly disrespectful to our businesses and residents who are sacrificing so much to try and keep all of us safe.
“Anyone thinking of breaking the rules by travelling to Edinburgh to attend this event should not do so – they are not welcome.”
A man was arrested for an alleged breach of coronavirus legislation and a drug charge at a similar protest the group held in Glasgow’s George Square on Saturday.
In a warning issued on Saturday urging people not to protest in Edinburgh, Police Scotland Superintendent David Robertson said: “We understand people want to make their voices heard, but they must do so lawfully and safely.
“The Scottish Government regulations are clear that public processions and static protests are prohibited under the current Level 4 restrictions.
“Our approach throughout this pandemic has been to use the 4Es approach, which is to engage with the public, explain the restrictions in place, encourage compliance and, as a last resort we will use enforcement, where required.
“The chief constable has been clear, where officers encounter wilful breaches, we will act decisively to enforce the law.
“We are asking people to take personal responsibility and stay at home in order to protect our NHS and save lives.”
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