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The BIG Breakfast Show

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Scotland cuts limit on social gatherings to six people from two households

Written by on 10 September 2020

Scotland is to limit social gatherings to a maximum of six people from two households – both indoors and outdoors, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

Ms Sturgeon said the move was “the only responsible decision we can reach” given the rise in COVID-19 cases.

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And she added that the reopening of call centres and offices where staff are still working from home would “definitely not take place” before October 1, when this will be reviewed.

Speaking during First Minister’s Questions on Thursday, Ms Sturgeon said the laws around the new limit will come into force on Monday but that people should comply with them immediately.

The new rules mean there will be some limited exceptions, including organised sports and places of worship, and children under 12 will not count towards the limit.

Previously, people were allowed to meet in groups of up to eight from three households indoors and 15 from five households outdoors.

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A limit of 20 people for funerals, weddings and civil partnerships will remain and will also apply to wakes and receptions.

It follows Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing people in England “must not meet socially in groups of more than six” from Monday.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the changes to MSPs at Holyrood

Ms Sturgeon said it was “not possible at this stage” for Scotland to move from phase three of plans to leave coronavirus lockdown to phase four.

And she said this was “likely to be the case for some time yet” as the latest estimates showed the R number in Scotland – the average number of people infected by each person with the virus – could be as high as 1.5.

“For now, working from home will remain the default position,” Ms Sturgeon said.

The first minister added: “We have concluded that it is necessary to tighten some existing restrictions, to help curb the spread of the virus especially between and within households.

“As of now, up to eight people from three households can meet indoors. Larger outdoor gatherings are also permitted.

“I can confirm that we intend to change this, so that a maximum of six people from two households will now be permitted to meet together.”

She added: “To help reduce transmission – but also simplify the rules as much as possible – this new limit will apply both indoors, in houses, in pubs and restaurants, and also outdoors including in private gardens.”