Most of Scotland will be placed in lockdown from 5 January for the whole of January to tackle the rising spread of the new coronavirus strain, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.
The first minister said a legally-enforceable stay-at-home order will apply from 5 January to areas currently under Level 4 – mainland Scotland and Skye – with exemptions in place for carers, essential shopping, unlimited outdoor exercise, and being part of an extended household.
Schools and nurseries will remain closed to most pupils until February, meaning an additional two weeks of home learning for most pupils.
Sturgeon announced the changes in a statement at the Scottish parliament, which was recalled from recess to discuss stricter measures, telling MSPs taking no action could see coronavirus (Covid-19) capacity in hospitals overrun within “three or four weeks”.
We have an opportunity in Scotland to avert the situation here deteriorating to that extent but we must act quickly.
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
The first minister said the lockdown decision was taken after a meeting of the Scottish Cabinet on the morning of 4 January.
I can confirm now, in summary, that we decided to introduce from tomorrow, for the duration of January, a legal requirement to stay at home except for essential purposes. This is similar to the lockdown of March last year.
The Scottish government had already announced school holidays were being extended to 11 January, with ministers having originally planned for remote learning until 18 January.
However, schools will still be open for the children of key workers who cannot work from home, and for vulnerable youngsters.
The first minister said Scotland recorded 1,905 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, down from the 2,464 reported on 3 January. The daily test positivity rate is 15%, a marginal drop from 15.2%.
Currently, the whole of mainland Scotland and Skye are under the toughest tier of restrictions, banning indoor visits except in limited special circumstances and restricting meetings outdoors to six people from two households.
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?