Scots thanked after first weekend of new Covid restrictions

There are 961 new cases of coronavirus in Scotland but no deaths reported in the last 24 hours.

The First Minister has thanked individuals and businesses for following the new rules after the first weekend of sweeping coronavirus restrictions on Scotland’s hospitality sector.

In five health board areas in central Scotland, including Glasgow and Edinburgh, pubs and restaurants have been forced to close for two weeks, with only cafes allowed to stay open until 6pm.

For the rest of Scotland, licensed premises cannot serve alcohol inside and must close by 6pm, while outdoor hospitality like beer gardens can stay open and serve alcohol until 10pm.

Nicola Sturgeon confirmed 961 new cases of Covid-19 in Scotland on Monday, which amounts to 17.1% of newly-tested Scots.

There are 359 new infections in Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board area, 244 in Lanarkshire, 112 in Lothian and 88 in Ayrshire and Arran – all areas, along with Forth Valley, hit by pub and restaurant closures.

No new deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours, but 38 more people are in hospital with the virus, taking the total up to 487, while 36 are in intensive care, a rise of one.

Meanwhile one further patient has died at Western General Hospital in Edinburgh following an outbreak of coronavirus on a ward.

NHS Lothian is continuing to investigate the outbreak, which has seen under five people die after contracting the virus at the hospital.

Three further patients and six members of staff have tested positive for Covid-19 following the outbreak

Speaking at the daily coronavirus briefing, Sturgeon said rising hospital admissions were a key part of why the new measures had been introduced.

And she said adherence to the new restrictions had been “good” across the country.

The First Minister told the briefing: “The weekend just past was of course the first with new temporary restrictions in place so I thought it was appropriate to start simply by saying thank you to individuals and businesses across the country.

“The early anecdotal evidence that we have from the police would suggest that compliance with the new rules and with rules generally has been good.

“That’s encouraging – these new restrictions are really tough for everybody and they are tough for businesses, particularly in the hospitality sector.

“Nobody is unaware of that but they are vital for helping to stem the increase in cases, bring it back under control and of course stem the increase in hospital admissions and illness that we have been seeing.”

With the measures in place until at least October 25, Sturgeon said the Scottish Government is looking to ensure Covid’s long-term suppression.

She added Scotland will have its own tiered alert system aligned closely with the one Boris Johnson is announcing for England.

The PM is to deliver a Commons statement on Monday afternoon setting out proposals for a three-tier system, with English areas labelled as medium, high or very high risk.

Speaking after a Cobra meeting with the Prime Minister and leaders of the devolved administrations, the First Minister said her own plans will be put before the Scottish Parliament after the October recess.

Ms Sturgeon said: “At a strategic level, we will be looking to align as closely as possible with the other UK nations – I think it is important and it makes sense to try to do that.

“Though I would stress that operational decisions about what tiers may apply in which parts of our nations will be for each of us to take at a devolved level.”

In addition, the Scottish Government is looking to revamp its testing strategy to help the country begin to use up more of its testing capacity.

Meanwhile, face covering regulations will be extended further to areas like workplace corridors and canteens, and measures to increase compliance with self-isolation will be put in place, Sturgeon said.

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