New lockdown begins in Scotland

The first minister says she is”more concerned about the situation we confront now than I’ve been at any time since March last year”.

The majority of Scotland is now under a new lockdown after the first minister warned that”we must act quickly” to protect the NHS.

Nicola Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament that there will be a legal requirement for people to stay at home for the rest of January in areas currently in Level 4, which covers mainland Scotland and Skye.

Schools will also stay closed to most students until the beginning of February at the earliest.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that I am more concerned about the situation we confront now than I’ve been at any time since March last year,” Ms Sturgeon said.

She said the increased transmissibility of a brand new COVID-19 variant first identified in the UK means that Scotland’s present Level 4 constraints may not be enough to bring the R number back below 1.

“It is essential that we limit interaction between different households to stem the spread and bring back the situation under control, while we vaccinate more people,” the first ministry said.

“In summary, we must return for a period to a situation much closer to the lockdown of past March.”

Failing to behave further could see that the NHS in Scotland overrun with coronavirus patients within”three or four weeks”, Ms Sturgeon added.

“We have an opportunity in Scotland to avert the problem here deteriorating to this degree,” the first minister told MSPs.

“But we must act quickly.”

Scotland reported 1,905 new instances of COVID-19 from the past 24 hours, down from the 2,464 reported on Sunday. The daily evaluation positivity rate stood at 15%, a little drop from 15.2percent on Sunday.

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What are the new measures?

  • Stay at home and just leave for an essential purpose, i.e. for caring responsibilities or essential shopping
  • Work from home unless it really is not possible
  • Businesses should consider moving as much as you can to being performed from house
  • if you’re shielding and you cannot work from home, it is advisable to don’t work whatsoever
  • Frequency of outside exercise isn’t being limited
  • However, the principle on outside parties varies from six individuals to a max of two individuals from two households. Children under 11 do not rely
  • If you reside in a Level 4 place you can’t leave home unless it is essential. Nobody is permitted to travel into or from Scotland unless it’s for an essential purpose
  • Communal worship cannot occur but 20 people can attend a funeral and five could attend a wedding
  • There will be community and societal support for those who need it.
  • Ms Sturgeon said the new restrictions will be kept under review but added:”However, I can’t at this point rule out having to maintain them in place longer, nor creating additional alterations. Nothing about this is easy.”

The colleges announcement will mean an additional two weeks of home learning for many youngsters.

The Scottish government had extended the Christmas break until 11 January, together with the initial plan for remote learning to continue until 18 January.

nicola sturgeon

Schools will remain available for vulnerable children and the children of important employees who cannot work from home.

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“Just as the very last places we ever want to close are schools and nurseries, so it’s the situation that schools and nurseries are the first places we would like to innovate as we re-emerge from this latest lockdown,” Ms Sturgeon said.

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“They remain our priority”

Updating MSPs about the rollout of coronavirus vaccines in Scotland, Ms Sturgeon said a million people will have had a jab at the close of the month.

She added that it is estimated that the most vulnerable individuals within the country and those over the age of 50 will have experienced their initial dose from the end of May.

And also the first minister implored Scots to”stick with” the new rules as the vaccines are gathered out.

“I know that the next few weeks will probably be incredibly tough,” Ms Sturgeon acknowledged.

“I am sorry to request further sacrifices, after nine long months of these. However, these sacrifices are essential.

“And the difference between now and last March is that with the help of experiments, we now have confidence that they will pave the way to brighter days ahead. So – for everybody’s sake and safety – please stick to it and stay home.”

The first minister also reprised the people messaging from the lockdown last March, saying:”Stay home. Save lives. Protect the NHS.”