'Early signs for optimism' but coronavirus numbers still high
The First Minister has said there are "early signs for optimism" that coronavirus case numbers may be beginning to stabilise in Scotland.
Nicola Sturgeon said the figures are "nevertheless far too high" after confirming another 1,707 people in the country had tested positive for COVID.
Additional measures, covering non-essential click and collect services, takeaways, and the consumption of alcohol in public places, come into effect in level four areas on Saturday as the Scottish Government tries to curb the spread of the virus.
As she recapped the tightening of rules, Sturgeon said: “I would stress again how important it is for all of us right now to abide by both the letter and the spirit of these rules.
“Case numbers in Scotland, while we see early signs for optimism that they might be beginning to stabilise, are nevertheless far too high.
“The new variant is highly infectious and all of us need to do everything we can to reduce transmission while the vaccination programme picks up pace and does its work.”
Sturgeon encouraged the public to “deprive COVID of every possible opportunity it has to spread” by reducing their contacts with others.
She added: “So I'm asking everybody not to think in terms of the maximum you can do within the rules.
“The question we should all be asking ourselves right now, every single day when we are thinking about going out of our house to do something, is not ‘Can I do this? Do the rules allow me to do this?’
“The question we should be asking is ‘Should I do it? Is it really essential for me to do it?’
“And what we're asking everybody to do is to try to limit our interactions as much as we possibly can because that is how we deprive COVID of every possible opportunity it has to spread.”