Sturgeon unveils five-level Covid lockdown rules for Scotland | UK news

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Nicola Sturgeon has unveiled a five-level system for restricting people’s movements and limiting physical contact as part of new measures to combat the spread of Covid-19.

The new system includes a top level that is tougher than the highest of England’s three tiers. Sturgeon said the highest level would be closer to the lockdown imposed across the UK in late March.

That would mean all non-essential shops would need to close, with controls on manufacturing and construction firms, but there would not be a return to a full lockdown. Schools would remain open if possible and people would still be able to meet outdoors.

“We are not back at square one,” she said. “We have made progress in tackling the virus and we have more tools at our disposal now to control it.”

UK coronavirus cases

The first minister said the “strategic framework” would “allow us to take a national approach if required. It’s possible that the whole country at some point could be placed at the same level but it also means we don’t have to take a one size fits all approach if that’s not warranted.”

The fresh measures will come into force on Monday 2 November after Scotland’s coronavirus infection and fatality rates rose again to levels last seen in May.

Sturgeon said the latest data showed 18 people had died in Scotland in the past 24 hours, with 975 people in hospital, up by 41, and 76 people in intensive care, up two overnight. There had been 1,401 cases over the last day, bringing the total up to 54,016.

Tier one – medium

  • The “rule of six” applies, meaning socialising in groups larger than six people is prohibited whether indoors or outdoors.
  • Tradespeople can continue to go into a household for work and are not counted as being part of the six-person limit.
  • Businesses and venues can continue to operate but pubs and restaurants must ensure customers only consume food and drink while seated, and close between 10pm and 5am.
  • Takeaway food can continue to be sold after 10pm if ordered by phone or online.
  • Schools and universities remain open.
  • Places of worship remain open but people must not mingle in a group of more than six.
  • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of people who can attend (15 and 30 respectively).
  • Exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors, and – if the rule of six is followed – indoors.

Tier two – high

  • People are prohibited from socialising with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting.
  • Tradespeople can continue to go into a household for work.
  • The rule of six continues to apply for socialising outdoors, for instance in a garden or public space like a park or beach.
  • Businesses and venues can continue to operate but pubs and restaurants must ensure customers only consume food and drink while seated, and close between 10pm and 5am.
  • Takeaway food can continue to be sold after 10pm if ordered online or by phone.
  • Schools and universities remain open.
  • Places of worship remain open but people must not mingle in a group of more than six.
  • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of people who can attend (15 and 30 respectively).
  • Exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors but will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with those they do not live with (or share a support bubble with), or for youth or disability sport.
  • Travel is permitted to amenities that are open, for work or to access education, but people are advised to reduce the number of journeys where possible.

Tier three – very high

  • People are prohibited from socialising with anybody they do not live with, or have not formed a support bubble with, in any indoor setting, private garden or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events.
  • Tradespeople can continue to go into a household for work.
  • The rule of six continues to apply to outdoor public spaces, such as parks, beaches, public gardens or sports venues.
  • Pubs and bars are only permitted to remain open to operate as restaurants, in which case alcohol can only be served as part of a substantial meal.
  • Schools and universities remain open.
  • Places of worship remain open but household mixing is not permitted.
  • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of people attending (15 and 30 respectively) but wedding receptions are not allowed.
  • The rules for exercise classes and organised sport are the same as in tier 2. They can continue to take place outdoors but will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with), or for youth or disability sport. However, in Merseyside, gyms were ordered to close when it entered tier 3.
  • Travelling outside a very high alert level area or entering a very high alert level area should be avoided other than for things such as work, education or youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if travelling through as part of a longer journey.
  • Residents of a tier 3 area should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK, while people who live in a tier 1 or tier 2 area should avoid staying overnight in a very high alert level area.

Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

There had been 94 deaths confirmed of people with confirmed Covid-19 over the last week, and the number of people in intensive care had doubled, she said.

The lowest level, level zero, will be close to near-normal, Sturgeon said, until there is a Covid-19 vaccine available or a treatment. “We’re hopeful for both developments in the months ahead,” she added. People would be allowed to meet indoors in groups of up to eight people and most businesses reopen.

With modest controls in level one, she said level two would be close to the ban on indoor gatherings and restrictions on pub opening hours in force across much of Scotland, while level three would be similar to the controls in force across central Scotland, where travel is restricted to essential journeys, indoor household meetings are banned and all licensed premises closed.

Hafta Ichi
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Sturgeon unveils five-level Covid lockdown rules for Scotland | UK news

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