Except for substantial reasons, Scots are now required by law to stay at home, as Nicola Sturgeon put the nation back into lockdown to avoid a “steeply rising trend of infections.”
The tighter regulations for Scotland’s mainland have come into force from midnight onwards and will be in effect during January. The First Minister warned that she was “more concerned about the situation we now face than I have been at any time since March last year.”
All schools on the mainland and Scottish islands will remain closed until at least Feb. 1 – meaning that for the remainder of January the “majority of pupils” will be taught remotely.
Similar steps also came into force in England after an announcement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last night, with primary and secondary schools south of the border remaining closed until mid-February.
People will only be permitted to leave their homes for exercise, to buy food and medical supplies, and for work that can not be performed at home in mainland Scotland, which is currently in stage four of the Scottish government’s coronavirus framework.
Ms. Sturgeon said it was so critical that the “stay at home” message was included in the rule, as it was in last year’s first lockdown, adding that “people will only be allowed to leave home for an essential purpose.”
“This includes such things as caregiving duties, necessary shopping, exercise and participation in an extended household. In addition, anyone who is able to work from home must do so. It will only be a reasonable excuse to leave home to go to work if that work cannot be done from home.”This includes such things as caregiving duties, necessary shopping, exercise and participation in an extended household. Additionally, it must be done by anyone who is able to work from home. If that job can not be done from home, it would only be a rational excuse to leave home to go to work.
Emphasizing that in the war against the pandemic, the nation is at a “defining moment,” Johnson said, “I want to tell everyone in the UK that I know how hard this is and how frustrated you are, and you have had more than enough guidance from the government to defeat this virus.”
Lockdown announcement by Boris Johnson – here’s what you need to know around the U.K.
The weeks ahead will be the worst, but I sincerely believe we are entering the final step of this war because we are strengthening the odds against Covid and for the British people for each vaccine we get our hands on.
In a Holyrood reminder yesterday, the First Minister told MSPs that the steps were “similar to the lockdown in March last year.”
However, a maximum of two people from two separate households can still meet outside and, unlike the first lockdown, there is no restriction on the number of people who can leave their homes to travel.
Houses of worship must be closed for shared services from Friday onwards. For marriages and civil unions, a limit of five persons will be allowed to attend, and 20 at funerals. The Wakes for the Dead was banned.
Ms. Sturgeon told MPs that in the last week of December, from 136 to 225 per 100,000, the number of seven-day cases per 100,000 individuals in Scotland increased by 65 percent.
The First Minister added that she expects today’s release of hospital data to show that “the overall number of covid patients in hospitals is close to its April peak.”
She added: “NHS Ayrshire and Arran is currently at 96 percent of its Covid capacity, and three other health boards – Borders, Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Lanarkshire, are over 60 percent of their capacity.
“We can expect the pressure on the NHS to increase significantly later this month.”
Ms. Sturgeon emphasized that “NHS services are coping,” but cautioned that “without further intervention, we could breach Covid inpatient capacity within three or four weeks.”
As of Monday, in English hospitals, there were 26,626 Covid 19 admissions, a weekly rise of more than 30 percent .
In April, the number is 40 percent higher than the peak in the first wave.
The four chief medical officers of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland met earlier and collectively recommended that the Covid 19 warning level be increased for the first time from Level 4 to Level 5 – the highest level.
They cautioned that there was a danger that the NHS would be overwhelmed “in several areas” over the next 21 days due to the rapid increase in cases, unless further action was taken.
Vulnerable individuals who were previously told to secure themselves before Aug. 1 during the initial lockout are again told not to go to work unless there is a hauu.