Credit: Michael D. Beckworth via Unsplash

Scotland introduces greater restrictions to combat Covid-19

By Ollie Rudden

The new restrictions will see pubs and restaurant having a 10pm curfew from Friday 25 September.

Scotland has introduced greater lockdown restrictions as the nation sees a second wave in Covid-19 cases.

Announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today, Scotland will see restrictions imposed which include a 10pm BST (9pm GMT) curfew on pubs and restaurants from 10pm from Friday.

Non-essential shops, gyms, sporting facilities and other areas of leisure such as cinemas and museums will remain open but will be restricted to six people from two households.

The announcement comes as the country sees a spike of 383 cases of Covid-19, a total of 25,009 combined, with a further death in the last 24 hours. There has been an average of 285 cases a day. The R number is now possibly as high as 4. 

Ms Sturgeon said that the recent spikes in Covid-19 has led her no choice but to take immediate action in order to halt a second wave of Covid-19 throughout Scotland as best as possible.

The restrictions will affect all individuals living in Scotland. 

People are also under strict regulations not to visit the homes of friends and family from other households, which the first minister revealed was the likely transmitter of the recent spike in Covid-19 cases in Glasgow a few weeks ago. This was revealed by the Test and Protect app. 

New lockdown restrictions will be reviewed by the government every two weeks on a rolling basis and may be relaxed or extended according to Covid-19 cases nationally.

The first minister also said she hopes that local authorities will take the restrictions more seriously, including increasing inspections of businesses to ensure they are following the rules and regulations.

In regards to the rumoured “circuit breaker lockdown” being introduced at the start of October school holidays, Sturgeon said the Scottish government has not made any decision for this but insists rules must be followed to prevent such a scenario, saying this is “not a lockdown”, but targeting “key areas of transmission”. Schools will remain open as of now with more freedom for school pupils with under 12s exempt from the six-person cap.

The first minister also stressed that she wanted to keep bars and restaurants open to protect jobs while combating the virus, due to uncertainty regarding the future of the furlough scheme that’s due to end in October as of now.

The new lockdown takes restrictions much further than rules in England, where Boris Johnson, prime minister of the UK, announced in parliament that pubs and restaurants were to have a 10pm curfew, along with wedding attendees being capped from 30 to 15.

The news of a second lockdown for Scotland was hinted at in the Covid-19 daily briefing by Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister, and Jeane Freeman, Scotland’s health secretary in the last week, warning to prepare for tougher restrictions being introduced in the coming week. 

Nicola Sturgeon is to make a televised address to Scotland at 8.05pm tonight, right after the UK prime minister Boris Johnson makes a televised address to the whole UK.


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