Scotland will enter another coronavirus lock down from midnight tonight until the end of January, Nicola Sturgeon announced.
The Scottish prime minister revealed the latest measures to parliament on Monday, saying she felt “more concern” about the current COVID-19 situation compared to the first peak in March.
He added that Scotland was also about four weeks behind the trajectory in London and the south-east of England, and said it would take about this amount of time to overwhelm health services.
Under the new rules, Scots will have to stay home for everything except “essential reasons” like shopping and exercising.
Two people from two households will still be able to meet outdoors and funerals and weddings will be allowed.
The places of worship, meanwhile, will be closed from Friday.
” It is essential that we further limit the interaction between different households to stop the spread and get the situation back under control, while we vaccinate more people,” Sturgeon said.
” In short, we must return for a period to a situation much closer to the blockade of last March.”
The UK continues to fight off a new variant of COVID-19 that is more communicable than others.
Referring to this variant, Sturgeon said it was a “massive blow” for Scotland, as he compared the spread of the disease to vaccines.
” In one lane we have vaccines, and our job is to make sure that they can work as quickly as possible. That is why the government will do everything possible to vaccinate people as quickly as possible,” he said.
” But in the other lane is the virus that, as a result of this new variant, has just learned to run much faster and has definitely picked up the pace in the last two weeks. To ensure that the vaccine wins the race, it is essential to accelerate. Maximum vaccination.
” But to give it the time it needs to get ahead, we must also slow down the virus.”
The United Kingdom has recorded six consecutive days in which the number of infections exceeded 50,000, which is also due to a week in which daily records were broken.
On Monday, Sturgeon said Scotland had recorded another 1,905 cases, meaning that 15% of COVID-19 tests were coming back positive.
He said the intensive care units were also feeling the strain, as they were above usual winter levels, while some hospitals were rapidly running out of beds.
“NHS Ayrshire and Arran are currently at 96% COVID capacity,” he said, adding: “And three other health boards, Borders, Greater Glasgow & Clyde and Lanarkshire, are above 60% capacity.”
Boris Johnson warned Monday that “tougher measures” could be expected soon in England, and confirmed that he would make a televised address to the nation at 9 pm CET.
Large swaths of England are currently at Level 4, the strictest level available in the system, advising people to stay home and close non-essential businesses.
” We will do everything we can to keep the virus under control and people should have no doubt that the government will do whatever is necessary,” the UK prime minister said.
” But I must emphasize at this critical moment that it is so vital that people stay disciplined.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism