After coronavirus cases have reached a record high, the Scottish government has introduced new restrictions regarding socialising, starting this week.
This comes after chief medical advisors across the UK have moved the Covid-19 alert level from three to four, stating that transmission of the virus is “high or rising exponentially”.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon addressed the Parliament on Tuesday, presenting several measures that are being implemented over the course of the week.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to UK residents on Tuesday evening, stressing the importance of following social distancing guidelines and announcing tighter restrictions for England as well.
A UK-wide approach to a possible “second wave” of Covid-19 infections is being discussed.
Scottish residents are now banned from meeting other households in private indoor spaces, starting on Wednesday, while public indoor spaces, such as restaurants, will still allow six people from two different households to meet.
The same applies outdoors, including private gardens.
Children aged twelve and under do not have to follow any restrictions when meeting outdoors and children between the ages of twelve and seventeen may still meet in groups of up to six people.
Additionally, from Friday 25th onwards, pubs and restaurants are now required to close at ten pm.
The new spike in positive coronavirus tests came primarily from the Greater Glasgow area, said Ms Sturgeon, including a “significant” outbreak at the University of Glasgow, where 124 students have tested positive.
Ms Sturgeon urged students to follow the new measures as well as social distancing guidelines in order to prevent further outbreaks, stating that students should not visit pubs, bars or restaurants this weekend.
While some departments moved all of their courses online at the start of the semester, others are still offering smaller tutorials on-campus according to the University’s “hybrid” teaching model.
Edinburgh Vice-Principal of Students Professor Colm Harmon added: ”While we are continuing our efforts to keep our campus safe, we can’t do this alone. We all have a part to play to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and to protect ourselves and others.”
In her speech to Parliament on Tuesday, Ms Sturgeon stated that “the measures I am announcing today are tough…but they do not represent a full-scale lockdown…”.
The option of a short lockdown period, a so-called “circuit-breaker”, which could be implemented in October, is still being reviewed.
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