Coronavirus in Scotland: What are the six new covid restrictions, what time will they be approved by parliament?
Yesterday Nicola Sturgeon announced a raft of changes to coronavirus restrictions in Scotland, rules which affect click and collect services as well as food and drink takeaways.
The new regulations are expected to be nodded through by the Covid Committee at Holyrood which will meet around 10.30am today.
What new rules did Nicola Sturgeon announce on Wednesday?
- limited availability and operation of click and collect services
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- restrictions to takeaway services
- limits on consumption of alcohol
- strengthened obligation employers to allow staff to work from home
- new rules on work carried out inside other people’s houses
- amendment to ‘stay at home’ guidance
Speaking in the Scottish Parliament at the start of First Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Ms Sturgeon said drinking alcohol in public outdoors in all Level 4 areas of Scotland will be banned.
Scots will also be barred from entering hospitality businesses for takeaway services, meaning all sales of food or drink must take place outside the premises.
Click and collect services will be limited to retailers selling essentials, such as clothing, baby equipment and books.
For those allowed to continue collection services, Ms Sturgeon said “staggered appointments” will be needed to end queuing, and people will no longer be allowed inside.
Statutory guidance will be introduced urging employers to support workers to remain at home “wherever possible”, the First Minister announced.
Have the rules on essential work changed?
Separately, guidance previously issued to only allow essential work to be undertaken inside people’s homes will be placed into law.
Ms Sturgeon confirmed coronavirus regulations will change to forbid people from leaving home for an essential purpose and then doing something considered not to be essential after they have left the house.
While the list of essential reasons for leaving home will not change, she said: “It does mean that if the police challenge you for being out of the house doing something that is not essential, it will not be a defence to say you initially left the house to do something that was essential.”
Has Nicola Sturgeon signalled whether the lockdown is working?
The First Minister said the lockdown for mainland Scotland and some island areas which began on January 5 appears to be having an effect.
However she warned against complacency, as she confirmed 79 more deaths of confirmed coronavirus patients were registered in the past 24 hours along with 1,949 new cases.
She also said it is “heart-breaking” that the death toll of people with confirmed or suspected coronavirus has now risen above 7,000.
What did the First Minister say to the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday?
Ms Sturgeon urged Scots to adhere to the spirit, not just the letter, of the lockdown law, saying: “Don’t think in terms of the maximum interactions you can have without breaking the rules.
“Think instead about how you minimise your interactions to the bare essentials to remove as many opportunities as possible for the virus to spread.
“In everything you do, assume that the virus is there with you – that either you have it or any person you are in contact with has it – and act in a way that prevents it passing between you.
“All of this means staying at home except for genuinely essential purposes – including working from home whenever possible.
“Except for essential purposes, do not have people from other households in your house and do not go into theirs.”