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Scotland on brink of extra restrictions as Sturgeon warns action is needed

Written by on 6 October 2020

Scotland is facing tougher coronavirus restrictions, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon saying she is receiving “very strong public health advice” that further action is necessary.

The first minister told Tuesday’s coronavirus briefing that the public health advice in Scotland is to add measures above and beyond what they are currently – but wants to weigh the harms done to the economy against the case rise and strike a balance.

She told her daily COVID-19 briefing that the government had reached “probably its most difficult decision point”, stressing it was “important to recognise cases are rising across the country”.

Ms Sturgeon said that case levels are higher than she is “comfortable” with, particularly around the middle of the country.

“The situation is not out of control, but the situation is a cause for concern,” she said, as she promised “targeted steps”.

“None of this is easy,” she added.

Ms Sturgeon was preparing the ground for announcements tomorrow and insisted no formal decision had yet been made.

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She did, however, rule out a full national lockdown, saying she wanted to keep schools and economy open.

She added she hopes that measures introduced two weeks ago, including a ban on household mixing and the early closure of pubs and restaurants, will soon start to have an effect on their own.

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However, in the two weeks since those measures were introduced, the average number of cases per day has risen to 729 from 285.

Also at her news conference, the first minister also announced that 800 positive cases were recorded over the last 24 hours in Scotland – a 13.2% positivity rate.

The infection rate per 100,000 of the population in Scotland over the last seven days is 79.7.

The Glasgow and Lothian areas of Scotland appear to have become the latest hot spots, according to government data.