Nicola Sturgeon LIVE: 3 new deaths as Covid-19 cases rise by 668

Updates on coronavirus in Scotland.

Thursday, 1st October 2020, 12:23 pm

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Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon attends First Minister's Questions at the Scottish Parliament. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell - Pool/Getty Images)

Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE: Thursday, October 1, 2020

Last updated: Thursday, 01 October, 2020, 13:45

  • Scottish Government considering ‘surveillance testing’ at universities
  • Three new deaths from the virus confirmed 
  • 668 additional Covid-19 cases
  • Lockdown easing postponed
  • Scottish Labour call universities return a “gold standard government fiasco”

Asylum seekers housed at hotel self-isolating after positive Covid-19 case

Dozens of asylum seekers being housed in a hotel have been asked to self-isolate after one tested positive for Covid-19.

Three of those staying at the McLays Guest House in the centre of Glasgow are symptomatic and coronavirus tests are being arranged.

Mears Group, which is contracted by the Home Office to provide accommodation for asylum seekers, said all service users at the hotel have been asked to self-isolate and it is following advice from health officials.

Asylum seekers were moved into hotels during the coronavirus pandemic, however an urgent review into concerns about such accommodation was ordered following a knife attack at one such hotel in Glasgow in the summer.

A Mears Group spokesman said: “The incidence of Covid cases across the country and locally is unfortunately increasing in most communities.

“We have taken all the actions we can to protect service users from transmission but cannot of course remove the risk completely.

“We have now identified that a service user, currently being accommodated at the McLays Guest House in Glasgow, has tested positive for Covid-19.

“Three other service users are symptomatic and tests are being arranged. Our processes have enabled the swift identification of the issue and a very quick response.

“All service users at the hotel have been asked to self-isolate. Mears is following advice from local public health officials and the NHS on measures to keep service users safe.

“NHS staff in the Asylum Health Bridging Team are providing on-site health support and Mears staff are providing welfare support.”

Edinburgh's Christmas festival cancelled over crowd safety fears

Edinburgh has pulled the plug on its money-spinning Christmas festival in the face of growing concern over large crowds flocking to market stalls and fairground rides in the city centre.

All events involving large gatherings have been banned in the city in the run-up to Christmas, following crunch talks held in response to the introduction of new lockdown restrictions across Scotland.

The move, announced today by the city council, will be a huge blow to city centre retailers and other businesses.

More than 2.6 million people flocked to the main site in East Princes Street Gardens last year and the festivities are said to have generated more than £110m for the economy in recent years.

Read the full story exclusively here.

Willie Rennie: 'When will families see their loved ones?'

The Scottish Lib Dems leader urges the First Minister to speed up changes that would allow family members to visit residents in care homes. 

Ms Sturgeon said she is keen to get back to a “greater degree of normality" for care home residents, adding that the Scottish Government is looking at allowing indoor visiting in future. 

Labour demands Parliamentary vote ahead of any “circuit breaker"

Richard Leonard asked if the government will seek the consent of parliament before introducing a “circuit breaker”.

Ms Sturgeon replied: "Yes I will give an undertaking that where it is possible we will seek to bring things to parliament in advance."

Sturgeon: R number in Scotland possibly as high as 1.7

Changes to nation’s route map postponed

The First Minister confirmed her announcement on changes made to the country’s lockdown strategy have been delayed.

Nicola Sturgeon said discussions about the route map, which were due to take place on October 5, have been postponed to October 15.

The announcement comes as the Scottish Government revealed three deaths have been reported and 668 new cases in the last 24 hours.

Read the full story

Scottish Greens attack Sturgeon over closure of NHS testing centre

Today the Scotsman revealed an NHS testing lab had been closed down because it was no longer being used.

Scottish Greens co-leader Alison Johnstone said: "Today’s Scotsman revealed that in the midst of the pandemic on Scotland’s Covid testing labs closed because it wasn’t being used. 

“This happened while the First Minister was rejecting Scottish Green calls for weekly testing for NHS staff.

“Can the First Minister explain why she doesn’t agree with the World Health Organisation and why her government allowed a testing lab to close?”

Ms Sturgeon said the lab was only in use while the Scottish Government was “building NHS capacity" and was “never designed to be a permanent provision.”

Ms Johnstone responded that it was “obviously not either or; the fact of the matter is that we could have been doing a thousand tests more a day.”

Sturgeon challenged on SG approach to universities return

Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “This last week has been a lesson in how not to communicate during a pandemic.”

He accused the Scottish Government of "blurring the lines between advice and harsher - even criminal - sanctions."

Ms Sturgeon insisted that: “The welfare of students at this point should be the paramount interest of universities and we continue to lead with them very closely to make sure that’s the case.”

More than 1.3 million downloads of Protect Scotland app

We’re asking everyone to work from home as much as possible …and to download the Protect Scotland app. 1.3 million of us have now done this. 

Nicola Sturgeon

The First Minister added that the app had now been used to contact more than 2,000 people who had been advised to self-isolate. 

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