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The new lockdown restrictions will last for just over two weeks with pubs, restaurants, most indoor sporting facilities, and some leisure venues in the Greater Glasgow.

Scotland will enter a "circuit breaker" lockdown this Friday from 6pm in an attempt to slow down increasing Covid-19 rates.

Announced by Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister, today, Scotland will see further restrictions imposed as pubs, cafes, bars and restaurants will all face limited opening hours as of Friday 6pm until Sunday 25 October.

Premises will also be required to only serve alcoholic beverages outside, though this will still be allowed up until 10pm, and open hours will be limited to between 6am and 6pm, where only food and non-alcoholic drinks will be allowed to be served.

Further restrictions have been introduced to five council areas in the country's central belt that are currently most affected by the virus: Ayrshire and Arran, Forth Valley, Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, and Lothian. In these areas, hospitality businesses will have to remain closed for the same time period, though certain exceptions remain. Takeaway services will be allowed to remain in operation, and cafes and restaurants without alcohol licenses will be allowed to stay open under the same restricted hours.

People living in these council areas are also advised to not use public transport or travel outside these council areas where possible. Other indoor leisure centres in these five council areas such as bingo halls and bowling alleys will also be forced to close, and contact sports for people aged over 18 will also have to stop for the same 16-day period.

Indoor exercise activities will be banned for the same amount of time, although gyms will be allowed to remain open for the purpose of individual exercise.

This announcement comes as Scotland has seen a spike of 1,054 new cases of Covid-19 across Scotland. Of these new cases, 410 come from the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area. 

These new restrictions are hoped to bring the nation's R number below one again, which it exceeded only a few weeks after the hospitality industry was reopened, according to Sturgeon.

Additional restrictions introduced include face coverings, such as masks, are to be worn in areas such as work canteens and corridor spaces, and shops are being advised to reintroduce stricter measures of social distancing. The rule of social gatherings between six people from two households will still be in effect, although current social events that have already been planned such as weddings, as well as others like funerals, will be exempt from this rule.

The rules again reinforce that people are not to visit the homes of friends and family, which the First Minister previously revealed was a likely transmitter of the recent spikes of Covid-19 cases in Glasgow and West Scotland, causing local authorities in the region to implement local restrictions regarding home visits.

The new restrictions will last for just over two weeks, and it is unknown whether they will extend past 25 October if Covid-19 rates remain high.

Sturgeon also announced that support funding of £40m will be made available to the businesses affected by these new restrictions, in an effort to curb the worst of the economic impact of them having to shut down again.

News of a "circuit breaker" lockdown has been rumoured for weeks, noting that government officials wanted to take advantage to slow down rates as the October school holidays began to cause minimum disruption as possible.


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