Every Health Board in Scotland has recorded positive test results for Covid today, 8th of January. Orkney’s cumulative total now stands at 42.
The alarming spread of the virus has come after the easing of Christmas Day restrictions and a more highly infectious strain has moved into communities.
Today Scotland’s Police Chief gave a clear message that the response of Police Scotland to people breaking the travel and other restrictions will be proportionate but firm. Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said that the service had 100,000 interactions with members of the public over Covid restrictions, had issued over 7,000 fixed penalty fines and made almost 500 arrests. Police Scotland has even had to close down nearly 90 premises because of breaches of the restrictions.
The figures for 8th of January for Scotland are:
- 2,309 new cases of COVID-19 reported
- 31,444 new tests for COVID-19 that reported results – 8.1% of these were positive
- 93 new reported deaths of people who have tested positive
- 102 people are in intensive care with recently confirmed COVID-19
- 1,530 people are in hospital with recently confirmed COVID-19
The public health advice is to stay at home for all of mainland Scotland, except for essential purposes.
For students there will be a move to online teaching for January and February. Students who remained on campus during the winter break can continue to do so. There are also courses which require students to undertake placements and where these are essential, as in nursing for example, they will continue.
Richard Lochhead, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, in the Scottish Government said:
“Our immediate priority right now is to say to students, other than in specific special circumstances, they must not return to their campus or term-time accommodation before they are specifically told to do so by their institution.
“For the overwhelming majority of university students, this means all learning will be online-only at least for January and February, and students should not expect to return to campus or student accommodation before the end of February.
“We will review plans in light of the state of the pandemic nearer the time, but right now even the very limited number of returns that were previously planned for phase 2 of the restart dates, cannot happen until at least the middle of next month for the majority of students, supported by rapid-result testing on arrival.
By law, in a level 4 area, which is all of mainland Scotland, you can only leave your home (or garden) for an essential purpose. It is also illegal to travel in and out of Scotland – except for essential purposes.
The First Minister of Scotland also restated that people should be working from home where that is possible.
Nicola Sturgeon said:
“Work from home if you possibly can. That’s now the law.
“And a message again to employers – if your staff were working from home in the lockdown last spring, they should be working from home now and please make sure that they are enabled to do so.”
The Chief Constable also addressed his remarks to those in our communities where home is not a safe place to be. For many domestic abuse and violence means staying at home is not the safest thing to do. Support services remain open for those who need to contact them and Police Scotland is there 24/7 .
Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said:
“Protecting victims of domestic abuse, vulnerable children, vulnerable adults is a priority for policing, it goes to the core of the police purpose.
“As we did during the first lockdown, we will keep our approach to protecting the public under constant review. We work with our partners in local authorities and the third sector to make sure protection is there, support is there at all times for those at risk of abuse, harm or neglect both in the private, and virtual space.
“I urge anyone with concerns about someone – a relative, friend, colleague, neighbour – to contact the police. We are here 24 hours a day, every day. The Police Service of Scotland is there to help you.”
As ever people are urged to remember FACTS
And to download the free NHS Scotland contact tracing app: Protect Scotland
Reporter: Fiona Grahame