Scotland Tier System RECAP: First Minister Nicola Sturgeon debates new coronavirus measures in Scottish Parliament

Live updates on coronavirus in Scotland, the UK, and around the world.

By Gary Flockhart
Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 5:44 pm
The latest updates on Tuesday.
The latest updates on Tuesday.

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Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE: The latest updates on Tuesday

Last updated: Tuesday, 27 October, 2020, 13:20

  • MSPs debate new five-level lockdown strategy
  • FM to announce new levels for local areas on Thursday
  • 25 Covid-19 deaths in Scotland reported on Tuesday
  • 1,327 new cases of coronavirus reported
  • Scots could be vaccinated by Christmas

Scots could be vaccinated by Christmas, says national clinical chief

The national clinical director of Scotland has said Scots could be vaccinated against Covid-19 by Christmas.

Jason Leitch told the BBC’s Drivetime With John Beattie that the Scottish Government expects to have some doses of a coronavirus vaccine before Christmas.

He said that while officials do not expect a vaccine “in days” they are receiving encouraging vaccine news.

Beattie said: “London hospitals have been told to be on standby for this Oxford Astra vaccine by Monday 2 November.

“Have you been alerted to this? Are Scottish hospitals in the same positions on Monday?”

Mr Leitch responded: “No, and we’re not expecting a vaccine within days. We do have encouraging vaccine news.

“Remember, no vaccine has passed all of the trials for human use at a big scale yet.

“We’ve got lots of vaccine trials going on, we’ve even got some people being vaccinated and then infected with coronavirus to see what happens, around the UK and around the world.

“We are expecting, with a fair wind, some doses of vaccines this side of Christmas, but not at a population level, not at an immunity level for the whole population, but we’re very hopeful.”

MSPs to debate new five-tier lockdown strategy

MSPs are due to debate the strategic framework for tackling Covid-19, which was published on Friday.

The new framework would add to the three-tier set-up currently in place in England.

It will be debated in Holyrood on Tuesday afternoon.

If the draft framework is approved by MSPs, ministers will then decide later in the week on which lockdown levels will apply to different parts of Scotland.

The grades will range from 0 to 4 with 0 being the lowest lockdown level.

Grades will be given to local authority areas, rather than the current NHS health board restrictions currently in use.

In her daily briefing on Monday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said there was unlikely to be an immediate change for many council areas when the system takes effect next week.

READ MORE: Leaked document reveals which areas may be moved to ‘level 4’ of the new tier system

Leaked document reveals two areas in Scotland which may be moved to 'level 4' of the new tier system

A leaked report says that ‘Level 4 is being considered for North and South Lanarkshire’ as part of the new tier system which is due to be announced by the Scottish Government tomorrow in a parliamentary debate.

Families of disabled children to receive winter heating payment

Families of disabled children will receive a new winter heating benefit.

The Child Winter Heating Assistance is a new £200 payment that will help families on the highest rate care payment of the Disability Living Allowance.

The payment is aimed at helping families heat their homes this winter.

There are more than 14,000 children expected to be eligible for the payment which are expected to start on November 27 and be completed by December 11.

Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People, Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “As the nights draw in and the temperature starts to drop we will all be conscious of the extra cost to heat our homes.

Liverpool mayor throws support behind more robust restrictions ‘if necessary’

Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson has backed the idea of a possible fourth tier of coronavirus restrictions if Tier 3 measures do not go far enough to halt the spread of Covid-19.

The city is one of five northern locations currently under the nation’s strictest level of lockdown measures due to a surge in coronavirus cases.

But in an interview with BBC Breakfast, Mr Anderson, whose brother Bill was one of 61 people to die with the virus in the city in one week, said he is not opposed to the introduction of “tougher measures if necessary”.

He told the programme: “(The pandemic) has taken untold damage on people’s wellbeing and a huge toll on families where people have died.

“If anything was required to bring it down faster I would do that.

“However, I want to make sure that we are giving tier three a chance to see if the measures have an impact.”

He added he would review the results of the Tier 3 restrictions in 14 to 16 days’ time.

Victoria Derbyshire sorry for ‘breaking Rule of Six at Christmas’ remark

Victoria Derbyshire has apologised for comments she made saying she would “break the Rule of Six” to have her family of seven together this Christmas.

The presenter, whose Bafta-winning current affairs show on the BBC was axed in March amid cuts, tweeted to say “it was hypothetical” but added: “However I was totally wrong to say it & I’m sorry.”

She added: “We’ll of course continue to follow whatever rules are in place on Dec 25th”.

The 52-year-old had told Radio Times, when asked what she would do if things have not changed by Christmas: “If the Rule of Six is still in place at Christmas, we’re breaking it to have the rule of seven. We just are.

“Joining me, my husband and our two boys will be my mum, her partner and my husband’s dad.

“It’s fine. We’ll do it knowing what the risks are. We’re not stupid.

“We’re going to be sensible and buy a thermometer gun. But we have to be together at Christmas.

“It feels almost irresponsible saying that, but I don’t think we’re alone in feeling that way.

“We need to see my elderly mum and my husband’s elderly dad. We just do.”

READ MORE: This is when MSPs will debate the new five-tiered restrictions for Scotland

This is when MSPs will debate the new five-tiered restrictions for Scotland

MSPs are to debate and vote on Scotland's new five-level system of local Covid-19 restrictions on Tuesday.

More than 61,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK

More than 61,000 deaths involving Covid-19 have now occurred in the UK, new figures show.

A total of 59,927 deaths have so far been registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, including suspected cases, according to the latest reports from the UK’s statistics agencies.

This includes 54,609 deaths in England and Wales up to October 16 (and registered up to October 24), which were confirmed by the ONS on Tuesday.

Since these statistics were compiled, a further 1,044 deaths are known to have occurred in England, plus 36 in Scotland, 62 in Wales and 47 in Northern Ireland, according to additional data published on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard.

Together, these totals mean that so far 61,116 deaths involving Covid-19 have taken place in the UK.

‘New coronavirus behaving in similar fashion to seasonal coronaviruses’, says Prof Barclay

Virologist Professor Wendy Barclay from Imperial College London said the new coronavirus was behaving in a similar fashion to seasonal coronaviruses – which are responsible for the common cold.

Prof Barclay, who is one of the authors of new research which found that people’s immunity built up after a Covid-19 infection could only last a few months as their levels of protective antibodies decline, told Times Radio: “This new coronavirus seems to be behaving in a somewhat similar fashion to the seasonal coronaviruses that have been in humans for decades, if not hundreds of thousands of years.

“And for them we know that you do get reinfected every one or two years because your immunity, whether it’s made up of antibodies or T-cells, fades away to such an extent that you can become reinfected.”

On the concept of a “immunity passport” – whereby people could go about their lives as normal after an infection – she added: “This concept of a passport for immunity – at the moment it is not a good idea because individuals can vary quite a lot in the sort of quality of the antibody response they make.

“We wouldn’t like people to go out and change their behaviour thinking they were protected when they are not.

“What’s more, the study we’ve published shows that if you had to test one month, then you might need to be taking the test the next month or the month after because your antibody levels might change over time.”

Read more: Edinburgh Royal Infirmary cancels non-urgent procedures to focus on Covid cases

Edinburgh Royal Infirmary cancels non-urgent procedures to focus on Covid cases

Edinburgh Royal Infirmary has cancelled a number of non-urgent elective patient treatments to “manage capacity” and prioritise care for Covid-19 cases.

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