The First Minister has announced a number of restrictions to be imposed on Scotland as of this Friday from 6pm in order to try and reduce the spread of coronavirus.
The new restrictions will last for 16 days and will see hospitality venues such as pubs, restaurants and cafes with indoor seating across Scotland limiting their opening hours between 6am and 6pm, and only serving non-alcoholic drinks. Hotel restaurants will be able to remain open after 6pm but only for guests staying there and venues which offer outside seating can continue to serve alcohol.
However, five areas in Scotland will see from 6pm on Friday 10th October will have tighter restrictions imposed. All pubs, cafes and restaurants in Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Ayrshire & Arran, Lothian, Forth Valley and Lanarkshire must close both indoors and outdoors. In order to minimise loneliness, particularly for those living alone, the First Minister said cafes in these areas that do not have an alcohol license can remain open until 6pm.
These measures come after more than 1,000 cases were recorded today with Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire and Lothian accounting for three quarters of all positive coronavirus cases in Scotland.
The First Minister, said: “We hope that the restrictions already in place and those I have announced today will stem the increase in new cases. But I can’t stress enough that that, fundamentally, is down to all of us.
“The more we comply with all of the restrictions and all of the advice, the more effective they will be.
“It’s also important, because we do want these measures to be temporary, that we use the next two weeks to prepare, protect and prevent – to further strengthen our resilience and our ability to live alongside this virus. So we will also take the following steps.”
Despite restaurants and cafes being closed for visitors to eat inside and outside in areas such as Greater Glasgow, takeaways will be permitted.
Other restrictions which will come into effect from this Friday until Sunday 25th October include the closure of snooker and pool halls, indoor bowling alleys, casinos and bingo halls.
Contact sports for people aged 18 and over will be suspended for the next two weeks, with an exception for professional sports. Gyms will remain open for individual exercise but indoor group exercise activities will not be allowed, although the current rules will remain in place for under 18s.
The First Minister also announced that outdoor live events will not be permitted in these five regions, including Glasgow, for the next two weeks and that people should avoid using public transport unless absolutely necessary such as going to school or work which cannot be carried out from home.
The Scottish Government is not imposing mandatory travel restrictions and are not insisting that people cancel any half-term breaks they have planned, but advise people not to travel to highly affected areas if they do not need to.
In addition, measures regarding mandatory face coverings will be extended to areas such as staff canteens and workplace corridors. Shops are being asked to return to 2m physical distance and reintroduce the mitigations they put in place earlier in the pandemic.
In order to aid businesses who will be impacted by the new restrictions, the Scottish government has also made £40m available to support them.