Coronavirus in Scotland RECAP: Deputy First Minister John Swinney urges families to stay home this Halloween
Live updates on coronavirus in Scotland, the UK, and around the world.
Follow along here to stay up-to-date with the latest developments on Friday.
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Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE: The latest updates on Friday
Last updated: Friday, 30 October, 2020, 13:35
- Face coverings mandatory for teachers and senior pupils in Level 3 areas
- 28 Covid deaths in Scotland reported on Friday
- 1,281 new cases of coronavirus reported
- BA owner records £5.1bn loss due to Covid-19
R number still above 1
The reproduction number, or R value, of coronavirus transmission across the UK still remains above 1.
Data released on Friday by the Government Office for Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) shows the estimate for R for the whole of the UK is between 1.1 and 1.3.
Last week, the R number was between 1.2 and 1.4.
R represents the average number of people each Covid-19 positive person goes on to infect.
When the figure is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially.
An R number between 1.1 and 1.3 means that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 11 and 13 other people.
Wales could ban people from areas of UK with high levels of coronavirus
A travel ban preventing people in areas of the UK with high levels of coronavirus from entering Wales could continue following the country’s firebreak lockdown, First Minister Mark Drakeford has said.
“I will want to study, over this weekend and into next week, the comparative incidence rates between Wales and parts of England which are under Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions,” Mr Drakeford said.
“The point of asking people in those places not to travel into Wales was because the rate of virus circulation in those places was so much more than it is here and I’m afraid there is still a significant gap between those places and Wales.
“If that remains the same, then we will expect to have a similar regime after November 9 as we had prior to October 23 because it just doesn’t make sense to add to the difficulties we already face by the virus being imported from elsewhere.”
Pupils and their teachers will now be forced to wear face masks in the classroom in areas facing tougher Covid-19 lockdown measures, the Scottish government has announced.
Do you agree with this measure? Let us know your views.
Mark Drakeford: I have no interest in a competition between Wales and any other part of the UK
Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford has said he received a letter from Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier this week regarding a discussion on a “common approach to Christmas”.
“I have no interest at all in turning this into a competition between Wales and any other part of the United Kingdom,” Mr Drakeford said.
“I have nothing but a positive wish to see those things succeed but what I do want to see is an opportunity to discuss these matters with the UK Government.
“The Prime Minister wrote to me at the start of this week and said that I would be receiving an invitation from Michael Gove to a discussion on a common approach to Christmas across the United Kingdom.
“We’ve done our best to try to secure that meeting this week. It hasn’t yet been forthcoming.”
Deadline nears for Boris Johnson’s 500,000 testing capacity pledge
Boris Johnson made a promise in July to increase the UK’s Covid-19 testing capacity to 500,000 tests per day by the end of October.
The latest data on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard shows that there is currently a capacity for 467,512 tests with 308,763 tests actually being processed.
The Prime Minister may not be far off his target with just one day left to meet it – but will it be a huge success that will help make a real difference to the current escalating problem of rising infection numbers?
Dr Joshua Moon, research fellow in the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex Business School, said the Government will “probably” reach the target.
“But what that tells us is limited,” he said. “The gap between capacity and tests done is important here because the capacity figure generally refers to overall testing capacity, not the Pillar 1 & Pillar 2 testing capacity which are linked to Test and Trace.”
John Swinney: Please stay home this Halloween
Speaking ahead of Halloween, John Swinney reminded people not to visit other people’s homes.
He added: “We should all be avoiding activities that make the spread of the virus more likely, I am afraid the guising falls into that category.
“Going door to door, passing sweets, touching items others have touches, all of that gives the opportunity for Covid to spread.
“So this Halloween our advice is you should stay at home.”
He urged people to celebrate the event in the safety of their own homes, and added: “None of us like the fact that these restrictions have to be in place, but sticking to them is really important, it will help to keep us all safe.
“So please stay home this Halloween, don’t take risks for the sake of one night, it is really not worth it.”
Read more: Coronavirus in Scotland: Government announces Remembrance events will not be able to take place across Scotland
Scottish Government announces Remembrance events will not be able to take place across large parts of country
The Scottish Government has published new guidance for Remembrance Sunday activities which states that they will not be able to take place unless they are held in a place of worship.
Your say on face masks becoming compulsory for senior pupils and teachers in high lockdown levels
Michael Robert Smith says: "There's no point in Bolting a stable door, after the horse has bolted."
James Thomas Kilpatrick added: "Should be compulsory everywhere.