NORMAL day-to-day life in Dumbarton and the Vale has came to a drastic halt in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.

As members of the public have been urged work from home where possible, and schools and nurseries have been closed, social distancing and self-isolation is under way.

All pubs, cafes, nightclubs, bars, restaurants, theatres, leisure centres and gyms are shut, with the exception of takeaways.

Care homes are not welcoming any non-essential visits. Every library in the area has been shut.

And the local authority’s council and committee meetings have been halted to focus efforts on responding to the Covid-19 pandemic and maintaining frontline services.

The move was agreed by local councillors and will remain in place until May 1. But the decision will be kept under continual review to ensure any urgent business, including licensing or planning issues, can be considered.

Jonathan McColl, SNP council leader, said: “Covid-19 is unlike anything else experienced in our lifetime and we need to put all differences to one side, including politics, and work together to maintain our critical services and protect our most vulnerable citizens.

“We know that council and committee business is central to local government, however, at this time, it is essential that council officers and elected members are able to focus on the response to Covid-19 and keeping our residents and communities as safe as possible.

“We have had staff working day and night to plan and prepare our response to this pandemic, and those plans are now being put into action.

“As a council we are doing everything we can to protect people and we’re urging our communities to support each other through this.”

All parents’ evenings, assemblies, school trips, concerts and shows across schools and early learning centres have all been cancelled.

Councillor Martin Rooney, leader of the Labour opposition group, said: “All of our efforts are and must continue to be focused on responding to this pandemic. I know people are anxious but I want to reassure residents that the council is ready to respond to the impact of this virus in West Dunbartonshire.

“Many people are already stepping forward and are ready to help their relatives, neighbours and friends, and this is going to be so important in the weeks ahead.

“We need to work together and for our communities to continue to look out for one another, particularly the elderly and isolated, and contact the council for assistance if they have any concerns about anyone.”