Scots nationwide ban on visiting other houses unveiled by Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon updated MSPs at Holyrood todayNicola Sturgeon updated MSPs at Holyrood today
Nicola Sturgeon updated MSPs at Holyrood today
A nationwide ban on Scots visiting other households is being introduced to stem the rising tide of Coronavirus cases, it has been announced.

Nicola Sturgeon also announced today that Scotland will follow the new rules on pub closures in England which means they must shut their doors at 10pm.

Scots have also been advised against sharing car journey with people from other households. And although a “circuit breaker” lockdown won’t be happening for now, it remains “under review.”

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It comes as the number of new cases in Scotland hit 383, the highest since early Summer, with one new death recorded.

"It is rising, faster than we can be comfortable with," Ms Sturgeon told MSPs today.

"We cannot let it continue unchecked.

“And while in recent weeks, the biggest number of new cases has been in people under the age of 40, we now see an increase amongst the

older population too.

"And unsurprisingly, in light of that, hospital and intensive care admissions and also deaths are starting to rise too.”

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She added: “We intend - as Northern Ireland did yesterday - to also introduce nationwide additional restrictions on household gatherings,

similar to those already in place in the West of Scotland.”

"This extends the restriction that has been in place across the West of Scotland for the last three weeks to all of Scotland. Regulations

giving effect to this change will come into force on Friday, but I am asking people to comply from tomorrow.”

From Friday, pubs, bars and restaurants will be required to close at 10pm, Ms Sturgeon confirmed.

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She said that closing pubs altogether would jeopardise the “jobs and livelihoods” of too many people.

"This decision today means we can reduce the amount of time people are able to spend in licensed premises, thereby curtailing the spread of

the virus, while still allowing businesses to trade and provide jobs,” the SNP leader added.

New guidance will also be introduced advising against people from separate households sharing a car journey.

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Ms Sturgeon also announced that everyone who can work from home, should work from home, with the prospect of a legal duty on firms to allow this

A package of support for people who are asked to self isolate is being introduced with £500 for those on low incomes. A nationwide promotional drive will be launched to highlight the FACTS campaign to observe basic hygiene.

The First Minister was addressing MSPs less than two hours after Boris Johnson set out a package of tougher measures for England, including a 10pm pubs closing time and a tightening of the rules around wearing masks. He warned that this would last for six months.

But this timescale was played down by Ms Sturgeon.

"It is certainly the case, until scientific developments such as a vaccine change the game in the battle against COVID, it will have an impact on

our lives,” the First Minister said.

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“But that doesn’t necessarily mean that all of the new restrictions I am announcing today will be in place for six months.”

The measures unveiled today will be reviewed in three weeks, but Scots were warned they are likely to be in place longer than that.

Ms Sturgeon added: “We have tried to get the balance right - and to act urgently and in a substantial and preventative way now to try to get the situation under control quickly. We judge that this will give us the best chance of avoiding tougher or longer lasting measures later.

Recent have days have seen speculation about the prospect of a “circuit breaker” lockdown being imposed, timed to coincide with the October school break. This would see Scots given strict instructions to stay at home, along the lines of the lockdown in March and April.

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But the First Minister said: “The Scottish Government has not made any decision at this stage to implement such a policy - however, we are actively keeping it under review.

" What I would say to people now is this. Please think of the October break as an opportunity to further limit social interaction.”

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