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Scotland to go into ‘effective lockdown’ over coronavirus

Nicola Sturgeon - Image credit: PA

Scotland to go into ‘effective lockdown’ over coronavirus

Scotland is to go into ‘effective lockdown’ to limit the spread of coronavirus, Nicola Sturgeon announced last night.

The new more stringent measures mean that people will only be allowed to leave their homes if they absolutely have to.

Only four reasons for going out are now allowed: essential shopping for food or medicines as infrequently as possible and no more than once a day; one form of exercise a day, such as walking, running or cycling, alone or with members of your own household; medical reasons or the care of vulnerable people; and travel to and from work, but only if it is essential and you cannot work from home.

There will a ban on public gatherings of more than two people and all weddings and christenings will have to be cancelled.

Funerals can still go ahead, but only immediate family will be allowed to attend.

Police will be given enforcement powers under the coronavirus bill, which is expected to be passed later this week.

“If we do all of these things, if all of us do all of these things, if we all agree, however difficult, to restrict our own lives for a period then many fewer of us will die of this virus than would otherwise be the case.

“Let's all do what we are being asked to do now to protect our own health and that of others and to show love and solidarity for our fellow citizens.”

The announcement follows a meeting of the COBR committee and a televised speech to the nation by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Johnson announced that all non-essential shops, libraries, playgrounds, outdoor gyms and places of worship must now close, although parks will remain open for exercise at the moment.

The list of essential shops that will be allowed to stay open include supermarkets and other food shops, newsagents, chemists, laundrettes, petrol stations, garages, bicycle shops, car rentals, hardware stores, pet shops, funeral directors, post offices and banks.

Johnson said: “It’s vital to slow the spread of the disease because that is the way we reduce the number of people needing hospital treatment at any one time, so we can protect the NHS’s ability to cope and save more lives.

“And that’s why we have been asking people to stay at home during this pandemic.

“And though huge numbers are complying – and I thank you all – the time has now come for us all to do more. 

“From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction: you must stay at home. 

“Because the critical thing we must do is stop the disease spreading between households.”

The lockdown measures will be reviewed in three weeks but may last longer.

Read the most recent article written by Jenni Davidson - Scottish Government revises budget to take account of COVID-19 spending


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