Coronavirus in Scotland: Three things Nicola Sturgeon emphasised at daily briefing ahead of lockdown movement

The First Minister outlined three main points during her daily briefing from St Andrew’s House in Edinburgh.

By Rachel Mackie
Wednesday, 18th November 2020, 1:14 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th November 2020, 1:14 pm

Ms Sturgeon started by announcing the latest coronavirus statistics across Scotland.

There are 1,264 new positive cases with 1,241 patients in hospital and 88 patients are in intensive care.

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Nicola Sturgeon gave her daily update from St Andrew's House in Edinburgh.

Tragically, 54 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus.

Schools and Education:

The First Minister reiterated the words that the Education Secretary John Swinney spoke this morning on the low risk of spread throughout schools.

Ms Sturgeon addressed concerns that parents, students and teachers may have after hearing that schools are to remain open, even in level four areas.

Quoting from a statistics from Public Health Scotland, the First Minister said: “In the first nine weeks of term after schools returned in August, out of 700,000 pupils in our schools, there were 1,600 positive cases.

“To put that in context, that represents just over 0.2% of pupils over that period.

"In addition, fewer than one quarter of all schools in Scotland had any cases of Covid among pupils and half of those had just one single case in the whole period.

"There were, as you might expect, more cases in Secondary Schools than there were in Primary Schools, but even so fewer than half of Secondary Schools had any cases of Covid and 78% of schools had no cases at all.”

Ms Sturgeon added: “There is still some risk of transmission within schools” but that the risks were outweighed by the benefits of keeping children in schools.

Shielded people in level four areas:

The First Minister has said that anyone who belongs to the shielded group in these areas with shortly get a letter from the Chief Medical Officer with advice and guidance.

Ms Sturgeon said: “One point I want to stress is that we do not expect you to stay at home for 24 hours a day as was the case at the start of the pandemic.

"Although of course everyone in level four areas is being encouraged to stay at home and reduce contact as much as possible.

"But if you are going out for say, essential shopping, we recommend that you take extra care.”

More details on shielded people can be found at the Scottish Government website.

Travel Restriction:

Ms Sturgeon started by saying that she understood that it didn’t sit easy with anybody, including herself, to be told that you can’t travel freely within the country.

She added: “May countries have restrictions like this in place right now.

"We are trying to avoid the whole country having to go into level four restrictions and to be blunt, we can only keep relatively low levels of restrictions in areas with relatively low levels of the virus if we ensure that people don’t travel to these areas from other parts of Scotland with high levels of the virus.”

The level four restrictions say that people are not allowed to leave their local authority area apart from for essential purposes.

The First Minister concluded with a specific message for students who may now find themselves in a level four area and tempted to go home.

Ms Sturgeon has asked them not to, adding that they will be allowed to go home for Christmas.

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