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First Minister rules out another coronavirus lockdown

Nicola Sturgeon with a face mask - Image credit: Jane Barlow/PA Wire/PA Images

First Minister rules out another coronavirus lockdown

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has ruled out a further lockdown – including the temporary “circuit breaker” – but will announce further restrictions on Wednesday.

Sturgeon said no final decisions had yet been made about what these restrictions will look like, but stressed that there would be no blanket travel bans or school closures.

Speaking at her daily briefing, the First Minister said this was “probably the most difficult decision point we have faced so far”.

She said: "If this was a purely one-dimensional decision where the immediate harm caused by COVID was the only thing we had to consider, it is possible we would now be moving in the direction of measures much, much closer to the kind of lockdown we had in March.

"But seven months in, this can't be and is not a one-dimensional decision. It is very much a multi-dimensional decision."

She said the wider impact the virus is having on jobs, the economy, and general health and wellbeing had to be taken into consideration.

The number of positive tests recorded yesterday was 800, bringing the total number of cases to 33,706.

Sturgeon reported that 262 people were in hospital with coronavirus, which is an increase of 44 from yesterday.

Twenty-five people are in intensive care and a further two people have died.

Sturgeon said: “Let me be clear. We are not proposing another lockdown at this stage. Not even on a temporary basis. We are not going to be asking you to stay inside your own homes in the way we did back in March.

“While we have been asking people to think carefully about non-essential travel, especially overseas, and while restrictions on travel may sometimes be an option, and necessary for hotspot areas, we are not about to impose travel restrictions on the whole of the country.

“We're not about to shut down the entire economy, we're not about to halt the remobilisation of the NHS. It is vital that our National Health Service is there for non-COVID conditions as well as there for anything that we have to deal with in relation to COVID.

"And, apart from the October holidays, which are already planned, we are not proposing to close schools either wholly or partially. I hope all of that gives people some reassurance."

Further restrictions will be announced by the First Minister on Wednesday after further meetings with her Cabinet.

 

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