In light of the ‘precarious and extremely serious’ situation in relation to Covid, The Scottish Government has increased some of the restrictions relating to takeaways and Click and Collect for shopping.
The weekly figure for new cases of Covid-19 reported each week has trebled since early December, mainly due to the new variant which now accounts for around 60 per cent of the new cases. This is, the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, explained, making it more difficult to get the R number back below 1 without making more severe restrictions.
She admitted that the latest lockdown introduced on 4 January is having an effect, but the total number of deaths under the daily measurement of people who tested positive in the last 28 days has now exceeded 5,000. Today the numbers of people who are in hospital or in ICU have again increased on a day to day basis. In the week to 7 January the number of people admitted to hospital in Scotland was 1,005 compared with 851 in the final week of December.
The new measures are: Nobody who lives in a Level 4 area should leave or remain outside their home except for essential purposes.
Working from home arrangements will be strengthened through updated statutory guidance. Working from home should now be the default position for all businesses and services, and only those who cannot do their job from home should be asked to go to the workplace.
From Saturday non-essential click and collect retail services will be prohibited in Level 4 areas and further changes will be put in place to how services open for essential purposes operate. Timeslots will be required for collection and people should not enter a store to collect an item. Businesses providing takeaway food will also operate on a ‘non-entry’ basis only, meaning customers cannot enter the premises when placing or collecting orders.
Restrictions banning the consumption of alcohol in public places will also be introduced.
In a statement to Parliament on Wednesday, Ms Sturgeon said: “The situation we face in relation to the virus remains extremely serious.
“We must continue to do everything possible to reduce case numbers – this is essential to relieve the pressure on our NHS and to save lives.
“Both individually and collectively, these additional measures – in further reducing the interactions that allow the virus to spread – will help our essential efforts to suppress it.
“At this critical and dangerous moment, please: Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.”