NICOLA Sturgeon has banned family and friends from different households meeting up indoors from Wednesday to try and stop the skyrocketing numbers of coronavirus.
The First Minister said this afternoon the new restrictions on indoor gatherings comes alongside 10pm curfews for pubs and restaurants, claiming Boris Johnson's new restrictions are "not sufficient" to halt the virus.
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That means Scotland will choose a different tack again when it comes to lockdown restrictions, after Boris Johnson introduced curfews on pubs and stricter fines for the rule of six – but no further bans on separate households meeting up.
Ms Sturgeon said the curfews "on their own will not be sufficient to bring the R number down."
She said: "(We have to act) on a scale significant enough to have an impact on the spread of the virus.
"Household interaction is a key driver of transmission, and we intend to introduce nationwide additional restrictions on household gatherings similar to those already in place in the west of Scotland."
That means different households are no longer able to meet up in peoples homes or indoors.
It comes as:
- A 10pm curfew for all pubs and hospitality venues will come in from Thursday – where doors will have to be closed
- And they will have to offer table service only – except for takeaway deliveries which can continue
- People should work from home if they can – or if their workplace isn't Covid-safe but MPs will stay in Parliament
- Weddings in England are going to be slashed back from 30 down to 15 – but funerals will stay on the same rules
- The Army could be brought in to help enforce new measures
She added: "We must stop the virus from spiralling out of control, and we can only do that if we accept restrictions in other aspects of our lives."
Ms Sturgeon stressed that this was not a "full scale lockdown" despite going further than the rules in England.
The First Minister insisted the "tough" rules are an attempt to avoid a further lockdown.
GO YOUR OWN WAY
Mr Johnson today said that the new measures in England would be in place for six months, but the First Minister said her stronger measures would be in place for a shorter period – because they were more drastic.
Throughout the coronavirus crisis Ms Sturgeon has introduced her own measures and often gone further than England – including rolling out different rules on face masks and the most recent rule of six.
In Scotland the rule of six does not include children under 12 – and kids will be able to play freely together outdoors without any limits on numbers.
Ms also waited weeks longer to let people meet other households as the full-scale lockdown was eased.
Teens aged 12-18 in Scotland will not have to follow the two-household rule for groups of six, as Ms Sturgeon commiserated with them on how "miserable" the rules are for them at a crucial time in their lives.
Ms Sturgeon said: "It is certainly the case that until scientific developments change the game in the battle against Covid, it will have a continuing impact on our lives.
"That doesn't necessarily mean that all of the new restrictions I am announcing today will be in place for six months.
"By acting early and substantially, our hope is that these new measures will be in place for a shorter period than would be the case if we waited longer to act."
Northern Ireland banned social gatherings of different households indoors last week.
After the PM announced the Government u-turn on home working, telling anyone who can work from home to do so, Ms Sturgeon said she would look at making it a "legal duty" for employers to ensure it was carried out.
Ms Sturgeon also followed the PM's lead by making face masks mandatory for staff in pubs and restaurants.
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