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The BIG Drive Home

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Scotland bans household visits as COVID-19 rules tightened

Written by on 22 September 2020

People in Scotland have been banned from visiting other households indoors, in tough new restrictions that go further than those announced for England.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon said the COVID-19 restrictions would come to force from tomorrow.

“We intend, as Northern Ireland did yesterday, to also introduce nationwide additional restrictions on household gatherings, similar to those already in place in the west of Scotland,” she said.

Boris Johnson reveals new COVID-19 rules on face masks, fines, pubs and working from home

The first minister said that data suggests this measure has reduced the spread of the virus in the west of Scotland and extending it to the rest of the country will hopefully reduce transmission.

The changes only impact meeting in people’s homes, with regulations for outdoor and public indoor meetings remaining the same.

Those living alone will be able to form extended households, while couples not living together, those who need childcare and tradespeople will be exempt from the measures.

However, the First Minister announced children under 12 will be exempt from the limit of six people from two households when meeting outside and those between 12 and 18 will be able to meet a limit of six others from six households outdoors.

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Addressing teenagers specifically, the First Minister said: “I know how miserable this is for you and you have been so patient.

“We are trying to give you as much flexibility as we can. In return, please work with us and do your best to stick to the rules, for everyone’s sake.”

As is already the message in Scotland, everyone who can work from home, should work from home.

And from Friday, pubs, bars and restaurants will have to close from 10pm.

However, Ms Sturgeon said other restrictions would be unavoidable if rules on face masks and social distancing are not followed.

Ms Sturgeon also said she wanted to keep schools and businesses open as much as possible and will review all restrictions every three weeks.

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It comes just hours after Boris Johnson announced further restrictions to combat the rise in coronavirus cases in England.

The prime minister announced face masks would become compulsory for bar staff, shop workers, waiters and taxi drivers.

He also said fines for failing to wear a face mask would rise to GBP200 and will be extended to customers when they are not seated at a table.