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