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Update On New Restrictions In Scotland

Restrictions on licensed premises will come into force from 18:00 on Friday 9 October, with all other restrictions applying from 00:01 Saturday 10 October.

High compliance with all restrictions adopted and mitigating measures put in place will give us our best chance of suppressing the virus without having to implement the most stringent restrictions. Coronavirus Covid 19 Evidence Paper

Hospitality (food and drink):

All premises may only open indoors between 6am and 6pm, with no sales of alcohol

Premises may open outdoors until 10pm, with sales of alcohol (where licensed)

Takeaways (including from pubs and restaurants) can continue

Evening meals may be served in accommodation for residents only but no alcohol can be served

Current meeting rules, maximum of six people from two households, continue to apply

Specific life events, such as weddings and funerals, may continue with alcohol being served, with current meeting rules for these events (20 person limit in regulated premises only)

the percentage of individuals who have tested positive for Covid-19 and who have reported hospitality exposure (pubs, restaurants, cafes etc.) has been consistently over 20% in September and up to 26% in the period from the end of July to the beginning of October. Coronavirus Covid19 Evidence Paper

Stricter measures are being introduced for Ayrshire & Arran; Forth Valley; Greater Glasgow & Clyde; Lanarkshire; Lothian

  • All licensed premises will be required to close, with the exception of takeaway services
  • Cafés (unlicensed premises) which don’t have an alcohol licence will be able to open between 6am and 6pm
  • Takeaways (including from pubs and restaurants) can continue
  • Evening meals may be served in accommodation for residents only but no alcohol can be served
  • Specific life events, such as weddings and funerals, may continue with alcohol, with current meeting rules for these events (20 person limit in regulated premises only)
  • No group exercise classes for indoor gyms and sports courts, pools with an exemption for under 18s
  • No adult (18+) contact sports or training, except professional sports, indoor or outdoor
  • No outdoor live events
  • Snooker/pool halls, indoor bowling, casinos and bingo halls are to close
  • Public transport use should be minimised as much as possible, such as for education and work, where it cannot be done from home
  • Current meeting rules, maximum of six people from two households, continue to apply

any indoor setting where the public mixes freely with members of different households and people of different age groups carries a number of risks. Hospitality therefore presents one of the highest risks. Coronavirus Covid19 Evidence Paper

All shops throughout Scotland are to return to the 2 metre distancing rule and to measures such as one way systems.

The restrictions are to be in place for 16 days with a  £40 million support fund for business and the existing UK Job Retention Scheme.

The public health measures are designed to limit the spread of Covid which has seen a sharp rise in positive tests and people being admitted to hospital.

The measures have been criticised by Orkney MSP LibDem Liam McArthur who said:

“The new measures being imposed by the Scottish Government are set to put further strain on businesses across Orkney on the back of what has already been a desperately hard year.

“While the government has applied tighter restrictions in areas of the central belt where the risk of infection is much greater, those areas that continue to have very low rates, such as Orkney, are still being affected.

“The First Minister acknowledged in her statement that Orkney and Shetland were the exceptions in terms of rising cases, yet the rules being imposed hardly reflect that fact.  As a result, many businesses in Orkney face further financial instability with no guarantee of being able to access additional support.

“The government must start sharing the evidence being used to drive these decisions and allow for proper debate and scrutiny in parliament.  Ministers must also explain what they expect these new restrictions to achieve, particularly in areas with already low numbers of cases.”

And Labour Regional MSP for the Highlands and Islands Rhoda Grant also commented. She said:

“Jobs and businesses need to be protected and the Scottish Government needs to make sure that businesses on the edge are not forced over that edge.

“This is timed to co-incide with the school holidays, yet the Government has not supplied the number of Covid cases associated with schools.

“It seems incredibly unfair that hospitality businesses have invested in making changes to their establishments to fulfil the guidelines which are now rendered useless by these new regulations.

“It is also strange that Orkney and Shetland, where there are no new cases, are being treated the same as places where there are substantial increases.

“The Scottish Government now need to publish the science so that people can understand the thinking behind these new restrictions in order to ensure compliance.”

The 16 day period of restrictions has been put in place after advice from Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer, Chief Nursing Officer and National Clinical Director. Their report can be accessed here:

The number of hospital admissions and people in ICU, while still low, continues to increase rapidly: a 79% increase in the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 in the week to Monday 5th October. We expect this to continue rising, with this typically lagging behind new cases by 1-2 weeks.

The measures are designed to be short term and will hopefully mean that the NHS will not be overwhelmed by hospital admissions.

Link here for the free NHS Protect Scotland App

Reporter: Fiona Grahame

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