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New restrictions for households as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announces new measures to tackle Covid

By Scott Maclennan

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced a range of "tough" new measures including banning different households from meeting indoors.

She said the restrictions fall short of a full-scale lockdown and are intended to prevent such a lockdown being reimposed.

The main areas affected are the hospitality industry which will have a curfew of 10pm from Friday as well as the ban on different households meeting up.

Advice for people to continue working from home was renewed and employers are being called on to rethink encouraging people into work, something which could yet be enforced legally.

The new measures include:

  • From Friday all pubs, bars and restaurants must close from 10pm
  • From Wednesday visiting other households is discouraged and from Friday will no longer be permitted
  • People can meet other households in public such as in bars, pubs or restaurants up to a maximum of six people
  • Exceptions include those living alone or with children who form extended households or for non-cohabiting couples
  • But two different households can still meet outdoors, including in private gardens again up to a maximum of six people
  • Children under the age of 12 will be exempt from the limit of six and the limit of two households
  • There will also be no limits to the number of children under 12 who can play together

Ms Sturgeon underlined the importance of the move by citing the increasing infection rates.

She said: "These figures reflect the course the virus has taken in recent weeks.

"In mid-July we were recording an average of nine new cases every day, around four weeks later that had risen to 52 a day, three weeks after that it was 102 and as of today the average daily number of cases is 285.

"We have also seen an increase in the number of cases coming back positive – in late August that percentage was consistently below one per cent, today that is over seven per cent.

"The R-number is above one again, possibly as high as 1.4."

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