Nicola Sturgeon says that she still intends to lift the restriction on hospitality businesses before the end of October and that while she’s not ruling anything out, tougher lockdown measures for Scotland aren’t inevitable as we move into winter.
Speaking in today’s briefing about further restrictions, she said, “In a pandemic nothing can be ruled out, I emphatically don’t think that is inevitable,” and that the two-week “reset” had not been “overtaken” by the virus.
She also said that the Scottish government will implement a three-tier framework of Covid restrictions later in October, similar to that being introduced in England. This will feature different levels of measures depending on the severity of the virus outbreaks and which could be introduced either across the country or in specific health board areas.
She was asked during questions about the Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross calling for a minimum of a week’s notice to be given for any further changes to lockdown rules because it’s unfair to force businesses to shut down with a few days’ notice and for the Scottish government to do more to support firms hit by lockdown restrictions. He said, “We don’t have to choose between backing business and protecting public health – we need to do both.”
Nicola Sturgeon responded by saying, “The virus doesn’t stop spreading while we give people notice of changes”.
A further 961 Covid cases were registered in Scotland on Monday, with 17% of first-time tests coming back positive. The number of people in hospital with the virus rose by 38 to 487, with 36 people in intensive care and no new deaths were reported overnight.