Sturgeon ‘very unlikely’ to ease ban on household visits

The First Minister will update MSPs on measures to control coronavirus later on Thursday.

Sturgeon ‘very unlikely’ to ease ban on household visits Jeff J Mitchell via Getty Images
First Minister: Nicola Sturgeon warned that she is 'very unlikely' to ease the ban on household visits.

The First Minister has warned that she is “very unlikely” to ease the ban on household visits in Scotland ahead of a review of coronavirus restrictions.

Later on Thursday, Nicola Sturgeon will update MSPs on measures to stem the spread of the deadly virus via a virtual meeting of parliament.

Speaking about the restrictions, which are reviewed every three weeks, Sturgeon warned: “As you might expect, we are unlikely, very unlikely, to announce any changes or easing of the current rules on household gatherings.”

At the Scottish Government’s briefing on Wednesday, the First Minister said she will provide further detail about tighter rules around the wearing of face coverings.

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She also said she will discuss what options are available after the short-term additional restrictions on the hospitality industry come to an end on October 25.

It has been three weeks since Scots were barred from welcoming other people into their homes, with some exemptions.

People are also still allowed to meet up in groups of up to six outdoors and in gardens, as long as no more than two households are present.

Face coverings must also be worn in indoor communal settings, including staff canteens and officer corridors.

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The new rules came into force at the same time licensed premises across the central belt were forced to temporarily shut up shop.

Aside from takeaway services, bars, pubs and restaurants in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Lothian, and Forth Valley will remain closed until October 25.

Across the rest of Scotland, pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes are now only allowed to operate indoors between the hours of 6am and 6pm, and are prohibited from serving alcohol. However, drinks can be served until 10pm in outdoor areas.

Announcing a further 15 deaths and record-high 1429 new infections overnight on Wednesday, Sturgeon highlighted that half of the fatalities were people under the age of 80. A small number were also under 60.

She said: “Please do not ever think that this virus only poses a risk to the lives of the very elderly.

“It poses a risk to all of us and I’m asking everybody again to take and treat that risk extremely seriously.”