Nicola Sturgeon has announced that from midnight tonight, Scotland will enter a lockdown similar to March 2020, with all school shut until 1st February.
Amidst a steep rise in infection rates with a record 2,539 cases recorded on Hogmanay and worry about the increased transmissibility of the new variant of the virus, the ‘stay at home’ message will come into law for the duration of January.
Under the new lockdown, Scots will only be able to leave their homes for essential purposes that include essential shopping and exercise.
Although a 5 km travel limit has not been brought into law, Sturgeon said that people must stay as close to home as possible and must not travel between local authorities.
Pupils were due to return to schools in a staggered manner from 18th January.
Citing high community transmission levels and still emegring evidence about the nature of the new virus variant, Sturgeon announced that schools would now no longer return until 1st February at the earlierst and added that the decision about schools was the “most difficult” one of all.
Sturgeon went on to add that any changes to the planned return of face-to-face teaching for universities and colleges would be announced later this week.
From Friday, places of worship will have to shut as will ski centres, and workers who were previously in the shielded category will stay at home.
Striking a more optimistic tone, Sturgeon said that the recently approved Oxford vaccine gave hope that the vaccination programme can be significantly accelerated.
As of today more than 100,000 have recieved a jab in Scotland.
Sturgeon’s announcement comes as Boris Johnson prepares to make a statement to the nation at 8 pm tonight, he is widely expected to toughen restrictions in England.
The Student will keep you updated as the situation develops.