The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has announced today a series of new lockdown restrictions – mainly aimed at the hospitality sector and the central belt of Scotland – to tackle the recent increase in cases of COVID-19.
Here is a summary of the measures announced today:
- The rules come into force at 18:00 on Friday and will be in place until 25 October;
- Bars, pubs and restaurants across central Scotland – including in Glasgow and Edinburgh – are to be closed to all but takeaway customers;
- The five health board areas affected by the strictest rules are:
- Greater Glasgow and Clyde
- Lanarkshire, Forth Valley
- Ayrshire and Arran
- People in these areas are being asked to avoid public transport unless they are travelling to work, school or for other unavoidable reasons;
- People in these areas are also being asked not to travel outside their local health board areas and others shouldn’t visit there “unless they need to”;
- In other areas, licensed premises will be able to open and can continue to serve alcohol outdoors up to the existing curfew time of 10pm, but will only be allowed to open indoors from 6am to 6pm;
- Cafes which do not have an alcohol licence will be able to stay open until 18:00;
- Snooker and pool halls, indoor bowling alleys, casinos and bingo halls will also close in the five health board areas for two weeks from 10 October;
- Residents in hotels are an exemption to these new measures
- And contact sports for people aged 18 and over will be suspended for the next two weeks – with an exception for professional sports; and
- Gyms can remain open for individual exercise.
What new support is there for business?
£40 million for those sectors affected, the First Minister has said that the Scottish Government will engage in discussion with the hospitality sector and business groups to deliver this support.
ICC and the Chamber Network will be engaging directly with the Scottish Government on this as a matter of priority.
In her speech, the First Minister cited an evidence paper – produced by the Chief Medical Officer, Chief Nursing Officer and National Clinical Director – as the base for why these new restrictions are being brought into effect.