Sturgeon goes further than Boris: Scotland BANS visits to other households amid COVID rise

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Nicola Sturgeon said Scots will not be able to meet in other people’s homes. The First Minister said that data suggests this measure has reduced the spread of the virus in the west of Scotland and extending it to the rest of the country will hopefully reduce transmission. Those living alone will be able to for extended households, couples not living together, those who need childcare and tradespeople will be exempt from the measures.

The changes only impact meeting in people’s homes, with regulations for outdoor and public indoor meetings remaining the same.

However, the First Minister announced children under 12 will be exempt from the limit of six people from two households when meeting outside and those between 12 and 18 will be able to meet a limit of six others from six households outdoors.

Addressing teenagers specifically, the First Minister said: “I know how miserable this is for you and you have been so patient.

“We are trying to give you as much flexibility as we can. In return, please work with us and do your best to stick to the rules, for everyone’s sake.”

Ms Sturgeon said she and the Scottish Government are determined to keep schools open, resume as many health services as possible and protect jobs.

The First Minister told MSPs at Holyrood that Covid-19 must be suppressed to ensure these priorities are met – meaning that restrictions in other parts of everyday life will be necessary.

Ms Sturgeon said: “The measures I am announcing today are tough – I will not pretend otherwise – but they do not represent a full-scale lockdown of the kind imposed in March.

“Indeed, today’s measures are an attempt to avoid another lockdown.”

The First Minister said yesterday people forced to self-isolate due to Covid-19 will be offered financial support.

Speaking at the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing on Monday, Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the additional assistance but said the details have yet to be finalised.

She said new lockdown restrictions will be announced this week to tackle a spike in cases.

Extra help is necessary, the First Minister said, to ensure people do not feel they need to break isolation to work to support their families or pay their bills.

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She said: “Self-isolation is a key tool in our fight against this virus, it helps us break the chains of transmission, so we must make it as possible as we can for people to abide by that advice.

“Nobody should be forced to choose between self-isolating for the common good and paying their rent and feeding their families – if that’s the choice people face, then it shouldn’t be a surprise to us that compliance levels are lower than we need it to be.”

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie MSP welcomed the promise of a support package for people who have to self-isolate, saying it is essential to protect people in insecure employment from losing their jobs “for simply complying with the rules”.

Mr Harvie added: “It’s clear that the UK furlough scheme must be extended, too.

“The warning from the UK chief medical officer and chief scientific officer shows that it may take at least six months to get on top of this outbreak and it would be utterly irresponsible to end financial support for people during that time.”

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