Mure Dickie in Edinburgh
The Scottish government is to impose its top level of coronavirus restrictions on 11 council areas including Glasgow, saying it hoped the “short and sharp” move to near-lockdown would allow measures to be eased for Christmas.
Nicola Sturgeon, first minister, told the Scottish parliament on Tuesday that existing restrictions had slowed Covid-19 infections, but progress in Scotland’s most populous city and the mostly nearby council areas targeted for the strict “level-four” restrictions had not been quick enough.
“The infection rate in all of these area remains stubbornly and worryingly high,” Ms Sturgeon said. “At these levels we would not have the flexibility we need to ease restrictions over Christmas which, in common with the other UK nations, we so desperately want to do.”
The level-four restrictions would be in place from Friday for three weeks, she said.
The first minister also said that existing government guidance against non-essential travel into or out of areas under level-three or four restrictions would be put on a statutory footing. “The guidance that has been in place in recent weeks will become law from Friday,” she said.
Under level-four restrictions, all “non-essential” shops must close, as must restaurants, bars and