Nicola Sturgeon will announce new Covid restrictions for Scotland on Wednesday but she said that this will not be another full lockdown. She also said that she’s “not about to shut down the economy”, but warned that “action over and above current restrictions is necessary” and she didn’t rule out taking a targeted approach to areas where infection rates are high.
Clinical director to the Scottish government Jason Leitch hinted that the night-time economy could be subject to new restrictions despite Nicola Sturgeon acknowledging the fact that pubs, bars and restaurants have worked hard to combat the spread of the virus, but she also said that the fact that it is transmitted where people gather, like households, “brings into scope” hospitality.
People will not be told to stay at home and there would be no national travel ban and schools will only close for the October holidays.
She said, “We are not proposing another lockdown at this stage, not even on a temporary basis. We are not going to ask you to stay inside your own homes the way we did in March.
“And while we have been asking people to think carefully about non-essential travel, and while restrictions on travel may sometimes be an option and necessary for hotspot areas, we are not about to impose restrictions on the whole of the country.
She added, “If this was a purely one-dimensional decision where the immediate harm caused by Covid is the only thing we would consider, it’s possible we would be moving much closer to the kind of lockdown we had in March.
“But seven months in, this is not a one-dimensional decision, it is very much multi-dimensional. We have to balance all the different harms being caused by the pandemic.”
She said that the rising virus rates are “particularly pronounced in the Central Belt” and warned they are rising across the entirety of Scotland, and that we are “beginning to see the spread from younger age groups to the older age groups.”
Two further deaths were recorded in the past 24 hours of people with a confirmed coronavirus diagnosis, bringing the death toll to 2532, and there were 800 new positive cases overnight, with 303 new cases in Greater Glasgow and Clyde and 167 in Lanarkshire.
The number of people hospitalised has also seen a major increase of 44 to 262, with 25 in intensive care – three more than yesterday.