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Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE: The latest updates on Friday
Last updated: Friday, 20 November, 2020, 13:29
- Two million people in Scotland prepare for strictest Covid rules
- 32 Covid deaths reported on Friday
- First Minister confirms 1,018 new cases of coronavirus
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has said he does not believe that encouraging people to attend Boxing Day sales is a “sensible strategy”.
New restrictions in Scotland will lower Covid-19 risk at Christmas – Sturgeon
Tougher coronavirus restrictions coming into effect on Friday in Scotland will “lower the risk” of people getting Covid-19 at Christmas, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.
The most populated parts of Scotland, including Glasgow, Stirling and Lanarkshire, will move from Level 3 to Level 4 of the Scottish Government’s five-tier system at 6pm.
Speaking during the Scottish Government’s daily coronavirus briefing, Ms Sturgeon said said infections rates have stabilised in recent weeks, they had stabilised at a stubbornly high level in some areas.
She said the new restrictions will help infection rates come down further before the Christmas period.
“The fact is the fewer people who are in the population who have Covid by the time we get to Christmas, the lower the risk of people being infected with it during that period,” she said.
“It’s very important for me to be clear that the risks would not be zero – which is why we must be very careful about any relaxation over Christmas and people will have to think carefully themselves, even with any relaxation, about what they want to do or not.”
In Scotland, an estimated 33,800 people in private households had Covid-19 between November 8 and 14 – the equivalent of 0.64% of the population.
This is down from an estimated 39,700 people for the period October 31 to November 6, or 0.75% of the population.
The ONS said its modelling suggests positivity rates in Scotland “increased throughout most of October and now appear to have levelled off”.
Because of the relatively small number of tests and low number of positives in its Scotland sample, the ONS said results should be interpreted with caution.
Nicola Sturgeon LIVE
Scotland’s First Minister has admitted to being “utterly scunnered and fed up” with new coronavirus restrictions.
But Nicola Sturgeon said that life could return to some semblance of normality by spring, with the Scottish Government hoping to have vaccinated one million Scots by the end of January.
She said: “These restrictions are difficult and we are all scunnered and fed up and I’m not going to stand here and pretend otherwise because I feel that same sense of being utterly scunnered and fed up as the rest of you do.
“But we do now see a possible end in sight and I think it’s really important that we don’t forget that.”
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman set out the Scottish Government plan for vaccination in Holyrood on Thursday.
The First Minister added: “There is a very real prospect for all of us of a substantially more normal way of life being returned to us by the time we reach the spring of next year.
“I hope that encourages us, it won’t make the next few weeks feel any better, but it hopefully will strengthen our resolve to stay safe ourselves, keep our families safe, keep others safe before we reach that point.”
Travel restrictions ‘vital’ says Sturgeon
Travel restrictions in Scotland are “vital” to ensure there is no need for a national lockdown, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.
The Scottish Government announced guidance on travelling in or out of areas in Level 3 and 4 of the coronavirus restrictions would be enshrined in law and take effect from 6pm on Friday.
The regulations also ban Scots from travelling to other parts of the UK.
Speaking at the coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh, Nicola Sturgeon urged Scots to abide by the new regulations, which could see a £60 fine levied against those who violate the rules, unless a “reasonable excuse” such as caring responsibilities, hospital appointments or exercise.
She said: “These travel restrictions – nobody likes them, I don’t like them – but they are vital in helping us minimise these risks.
“They are vital in helping us avoid having the whole country in the same level or restrictions.
“It is these travel restrictions that mean that even although the central belt has to be in Level 4, we can avoid the Highlands or Edinburgh or parts of the country with lower prevalence being in Level 4 too.”
Nicola Sturgeon LIVE
The risks of any relaxation of coronavirus restrictions “will not be zero”, Scotland’s First Minister has said.
Speaking at the coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh, Nicola Sturgeon said that any plans to allow household mixing over the festive period would still carry risks, but she hopes that strict measures in the coming weeks can drive down the virus.
She said: “The fact is, the fewer people who are in the population who have Covid by the time we get to Christmas, the lower the risk of people being infected with it during that period.
“It’s very important for me to be clear that the risks would not be zero – which is why we must be very careful about any relaxation over Christmas, and people will have to think carefully themselves even with any relaxation, about what they want to do or not.”
The First Minister was speaking in the hours before 11 council areas in west and central Scotland were put into Level 4 – the toughest level of restrictions.
She also said at First Minister’s Questions on Thursday that the chief medical officers of all UK nations have been tasked with developing a “concrete” proposal for household mixing.
Nicola Sturgeon tells her daily briefing that infection rates had “stabilised” in most areas but remained “stubbornly high”.
32 deaths and 1,018 new Covid cases in Scotland
Scotland has recorded 32 deaths from coronavirus and 1,018 positive tests in the past 24 hours, Nicola Sturgeon said.
Speaking during the Scottish Government’s daily briefing, the First Minister said the death toll under this measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – has risen to 3,459.
Ms Sturgeon said the daily test positivity rate is 4.8%, up from 4.6% on the previous day.
A total of 86,630 people have now tested positive in Scotland, up from 85,612.
Of the new cases, 391 are in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 162 in Lanarkshire, and 123 in Lothian.
There are 1,234 people in hospital confirmed to have the virus, up by 22 in 24 hours.
Of these patients, 88 are in intensive care, up by three.
Nicola Sturgeon news briefing LIVE: 32 further Covid deaths in past 24 hours and 1,018 new cases recorded in Scotland
One in 10 young people feel lonely ‘often or always’
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