Scotland has announced a tightening of lockdown measures in the form of six new rules that will come into force on Saturday.
COVID-19 restrictions around shopping collection and takeaway food are among the services being curtailed, as well as increased emphasis on people working from home and stricter rules surrounding the outdoor consumption of alcohol.
The six new regulations outlined byScotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon are as follows:
- Click and collect will only be allowed for stores selling “essential items”, such as clothing and footwear, baby equipment, homeware, as well as books.
- Customers buying food to take away from restaurants must no longer enter the premises and instead be served via a hatch or doorway. Eateries must also ensure there is no queuing by staggering the times at which their clientele may collect food.
- Statutory guidance will be made public for employers to support people working from home and those who worked remotely during the country’s first lockdown should do so this time
- The outdoor consumption of alcohol will be prohibited in all of mainland Scotland as well as on some islands, all of which are Level 4 areas.
- Renovation work in private properties will be limited to the essential upkeep and maintenance.
- Rules will be adjusted to close a loophole that meant people were staying outside for purposes that were not essential.
Scotland went into another coronavirus lockdown from midnight last Monday, which was set to last until the end of January.
Sturgeon said she felt “more concern” over the current COVID-19 situation compared with the first peak in March.
She added that Scotland was also around four weeks behind that of the trajectory in London and the south-east of England – saying it would take around this amount of time to overwhelm health services.
Under the new rules, Scots are required to stay at home for everything except “essential reasons” such as shopping and exercise.
The UK is continuing to struggle in the face of a new variant of COVID-19 that is more transmissible than others.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced England’s third lockdown last week, while both Wales and Northern Ireland introduced stay-at-home measures in December.
The UK recorded six consecutive days of the number of infections surpassing 50,000 just before England and Scotland announced their lockdowns, which also came off the back of a week of daily records being shattered.
The number of people that tested positive for the virus in Scotland over the last 24 hours stood at 1,949, which represents 10.2% of the total number of people tested, according to the government.
Coronavirus patients were filling 1,794 hospital beds, a rise of 77, while 134 people were in intensive care.
An additional 79 people who tested positive for COVID-19 had died, Sturgeon said.
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