Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon has addressed the Scottish Parliament after meeting with cabinet ministers earlier this morning and has just made an emergency statement at Holyrood.
At 2pm a statement was made announcing tougher measures to fight covid.
The situation is most serious given how fast the new variant of the virus is spreading and Scotland now looks to introduce even tougher measures to prevent the spread and to avoid the situation that is currently happening in London.
It is recognised that the current level 4 restrictions are not enough to get the virus under control. The following decisions have been made, none of which were taken lightly. Acting quickly now, will save lives and protect the NHS.
From midnight tonight, Monday 4th January 2021, in Scotland there will be a legal requirement to stay at home until the end of January, a strict restriction similar to the lockdown in Springtime last year.
It will only be permissible to leave home for an essential purpose, which includes food shopping , caring for others and daily exercise. Exercise is not being limited to one session as it was last year.
The law will ask non essential businesses to stay closed. New guidance is being offered for people shielding asking those people not to go into work.
Scots are not being permitted to travel outwith Scotland unless for absolutely essential reason, as current.
Up to 20 people can still attend funerals, but wakes will not be possible.
Meeting outdoors is changing. From tomorrow, a maximum of 2 people from 2 households will be able to meet outdoors. Children aged 11 and under will not be included in that limit.
The current workplace exception for canteens in works will end and revert back to 2m social distancing. Furlough and additional financial package via closure grants will be available from local authorities. These will be announced later this week.
Most school pupils were due to go back on 18th. Schools will now remain closed until 1st February 2021. This includes nurseries as well as primary and secondary schools. It remains a priority for government to reopen schools as quickly as possible. A period of online learning is therefore to be adopted in January. Another review on 18th January will be provided. The Government and local authorities are working to improve home learning capabilities. Schools and nurseries will be the first to reopen when it is safe to do so.
Teachers will be vaccinated over the coming weeks.
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