New national coronavirus restrictions being considered

Possible new nationwide or local measures to tackle Covid are being reviewed 'on an ongoing basis'.

The Scottish Government is “considering carefully” whether new restrictions will have to be brought in for all or parts of the country to help tackle coronavirus.

Nicola Sturgeon did not detail any specific measures being looked at but said the situation, as Covid-19 cases continue to rise, is being reviewed “on an ongoing basis”.

Updating MSPs ahead of First Minister’s Questions, she confirmed 290 new coronavirus infections in Scotland overnight – the highest daily total since May 1.

The FM said recent new national restrictions that limit all social gatherings in Scotland to six people are intended to curb further spread of the virus, particularly to vulnerable groups like older people.

Young people have accounted for the highest share of recent new Covid-19 infections.

Sturgeon told MSPs: “We hope that the new rules which come into effect on Monday will help reduce transmission and we will of course monitor this very carefully.

“We are also considering carefully, obviously on an ongoing basis, whether any further restrictions may be necessary either for all or part of the country.”

The so-called “rule of six” on social gatherings is also restricted to no more than two households. Children under 12 do not count towards the six-person limit but must come from one of the two households.

In addition, face coverings are now mandatory for staff in hospitality settings, and customers must also wear one prior to eating or drinking.

Of Thursday’s new cases, 112 are in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board region and 52 in Lanarkshire, where a ban on indoor household gatherings is in place in seven council areas.

The specific local restrictions will remain in force until at least next week in Glasgow City, East and West Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and North and South Lanarkshire.

Another 47 new infections are in the Lothian area, where there are currently no extra regional Covid-19 restrictions.

The 290 new infections Scotland-wide account for 4% of all newly-tested people, the highest percentage since the Scottish Government began publishing this data in July.

The World Health Organisation says a positivity rate of 5% or higher in a country suggests the epidemic is no longer under control.

No new deaths of coronavirus patients have been reported in the last 24 hours.

The death toll, combining daily figures on confirmed cases and also weekly statistics which count suspected Covid deaths, currently stands at 4136 in Scotland.

The First Minister warned that while hospitalisations and deaths have yet to rise in line with surging cases so far, it is likely they could climb again.

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