Covid: Ban on assembly in homes prolonged throughout Scotland

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Media captionNicola Sturgeon proclaims extension of ban on assembly in homes

A ban on visiting different individuals’s houses is to be imposed throughout Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has introduced.

The measure is already in place for greater than 1.75 million individuals in Glasgow and a few neighbouring areas.

But Ms Sturgeon mentioned it could be rolled out throughout the entire of Scotland from Wednesday in a bid to get the virus beneath management once more earlier than winter.

She additionally confirmed that Scotland can be following England in imposing a 10pm curfew on pubs and eating places.

The curfew shall be in place from Friday – with Ms Sturgeon warning that any premises that don’t comply could possibly be shut down fully.

Indoor and out of doors gatherings in Scotland had been restricted to 6 individuals from two households simply two weeks in the past.

However, the variety of individuals testing constructive for the virus has continued to extend since then – with the common variety of new instances every single day now reaching 285, in comparison with solely seven a day in July.

The 383 new instances confirmed on Tuesday was the best day by day complete since 15 April, and the sixth highest for the reason that outbreak started in Scotland.

The first minister mentioned hospital and intensive care admissions had been additionally beginning to rise, with extra older individuals testing constructive.

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She mentioned the nation subsequently needed to go additional to forestall the virus spreading unchecked, and that the scientific recommendation was that family interplay was a “key driver” of transmission.

Ms Sturgeon mentioned the Scottish authorities had subsequently determined “after careful consideration” that visiting different individuals’s houses will not be permitted.

The move means Scotland may have harder coronavirus restrictions than England – the place individuals can can nonetheless meet in teams of as much as six in a home.

She mentioned: “One of the reasons we have decided to do this is that our early data suggests this restriction is starting to slow the increase of cases in the west of Scotland.

“So if we lengthen it nationwide now, in an early and preventative approach, we hope it is going to assist to convey the R quantity down and the virus again beneath management.”

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Ms Sturgeon said the new restrictions on visiting other households would be reviewed every three weeks – and stressed that they will “not essentially” be in place for as long as six months, as some reports have suggested.

There will be exceptions for those living alone, or alone with children, who form extended households.

The rules will also not apply to couples who do not live together, or to tradespeople or for the provision of informal childcare – such as by grandparents.

Meetings in public indoor settings – such as pubs and restaurants – will continue to be limited to a maximum of six people from two households.

And up to six people from two different households can continue to meet outdoors, including in private gardens.

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Image caption Ms Sturgeon urged people not to book foreign trips during the October holiday

However, children under the age of 12 will be exempt from both the limit of six and the limit of two households if they are meeting outside.

And young people aged between 12 to 18 will be exempt from the two household limit – so will be able to meet outdoors in groups of up to six.

Ms Sturgeon acknowledged: “The measures I’m saying right now are robust – I can’t faux in any other case – however they don’t signify a full-scale lockdown of the sort imposed in March.

“Indeed, today’s measures are an attempt to avoid another lockdown.

“By appearing early and considerably, our hope is that these new measures shall be in place for a shorter interval than can be the case if we waited longer to behave.”

The first minister said she was keeping the option of a so-called circuit breaker – a short period of nationwide lockdown, potentially during the October holiday – under review.

She urged people not to book overseas travel for the October break “except it’s completely important”, and advised against car sharing with people outside your own household.

Ms Sturgeon made her statement to the Scottish Parliament shortly after Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined new measures in England in the House of Commons.

The two leaders and their counterparts in Wales and Northern Ireland have held talks over a UK-wide approach over the past 24 hours.

It comes as the UK’s Covid-19 alert level moved to 4, meaning the virus is “excessive or rising exponentially”.

What has the response been?

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Image caption The licensed trade has warned that forcing them to close at 10pm could lead to further job losses

Stephen Montgomery of the Scottish Hospitality Group, which represents more than 50 pubs and restaurants, accused Ms Sturgeon of “singling out” the industry despite “little or no proof” that it is linked to the spread of the virus.

He said: “With 90,000 Scottish jobs in danger we’re heading in the direction of a cliff edge and time is working out.

“We have been speaking with government and that will be ongoing but there is only a matter of months before the restrictions on our industry will have irreparable long-term damage on our sector.”

The Scottish Tourism Alliance mentioned the curfew on pubs and eating places was “likely to be the last straw for many businesses which were only just managing to break even”.

The Scottish Chambers of Commerce warned that “stricter measures in Scotland are undeniably more dangerous for the survival of businesses” and known as for extra help to be given by each the Scottish and UK governments.

The Conservatives mentioned the Scottish authorities had solely employed 874 contact tracers up to now, regardless of saying in May that 2,000 contact tracing employees can be required to “deliver a sustainable service across Scotland”.

Scottish Labour chief Richard Leonard mentioned it was clear that Scotland’s take a look at and hint system was “not working” and that “too often the system is overwhelmed”.

The new Scottish restrictions are extra intensive than these introduced by Boris Johnson for England.

Nicola Sturgeon has matched the prime minister by introducing a 10pm curfew for bars and eating places.

Table service and a few of the different new necessities for England already apply in Scotland.

In her Holyrood assertion, the primary minister mentioned she was aligning with different UK nations “as far as possible”.

She additionally mentioned her scientific group had suggested that the UK authorities’s bundle “on its own will not be sufficient” to convey coronavirus beneath management.

The Scottish authorities’s gone considerably additional by extending the West of Scotland ban on visiting others in their very own houses nationwide.

Nicola Sturgeon mentioned the brand new rules can be reviewed each three weeks and needn’t all final for six months – which was the timescale Boris Johnson advised for his measures.

All governments intend to again up their insurance policies with enforcement however there was no point out of massive new fines in Scotland.

This is devolved determination making in motion within the greatest disaster for the reason that creation of the Scottish Parliament.

Some argue divergence throughout the UK is complicated and undesirable however opinion polls persistently counsel the Scottish public belief Holyrood to set the tempo.

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