UK News Nicola Sturgeon defends ‘tough’ new coronvirus restrictions for Scots
Sturgeon: restrictions may feel like step backwards
The Scottish First Minister addressed the nation after she announced a ban on indoor household visits and a curfew for pubs and restaurants. It came as part of a package of measures to try to stop coronavirus from “spiralling out of control” in Scotland.Ms Sturgeon said: “The last six months have been unprecedented.“They’ve been the hardest many of us have ever lived through.“But through our collective efforts across Scotland, we did beat Covid back.“As a result – although too much heartbreak has been endured and too many families are grieving – many lives were also saved.
Nicola Sturgeon has defended her decision to introduce tougher coronavirus restrictions than in England.
The Scottish First Minister insisted the expert advice she received was that a curfew on pubs alone would not be sufficient to halt rising case numbers.
She refused to directly criticise UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson for failing to take action to prevent households from mixing indoors, as she has done.
Do tougher rules work? Glasgow's coronavirus outbreak has slowed
Some 37 people were testing positive for Covid-19 each day in Glasgow when the restrictions came into place. Government data shows the city's curve started to flatten five days later.Residents in the city, home to around 600,000 people, and two neighbouring areas were banned from visiting any other households back at the start of September, in a desperate attempt to curb the spread of Covid-19.
But she did say she believed governments should “try to co-ordinate as much as possible across the UK”.
Although a 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants will be brought in on both sides of the border, Scots are also being barred from visiting other people in their own home – with some exemptions.
"If we stick with it – and, above all, if we stick together – we will get through it."
Today FMannounced new restrictions to help stop the spread of .
Watch her message to Scotland ⬇Learn the new rules ➡️
— Scottish Government (@scotgov)
Ms Sturgeon accepted the new restrictions were “tough” and said they had not been introduced lightly.
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But speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain programme she said Scotland and the UK were in a “tough spot”.
Warning that “we are again at a tipping point with Covid”, Ms Sturgeon added: “If we don’t act now, urgently and decisively, then we might find Covid running out of control again.
“The judgment I have made, and it is not an easy one, is if we take tough action now we might actually manage to be under these restrictions for a shorter period of time then we would end up being if we delayed that action.
“So these are tough judgments but I think, given the loss of life we know that Covid can result in, the health damage that it does, we’ve got to be prepared at moments like this, people like me, to take tough decisions and to be prepared to do things even if they are unpopular, for the greater good.
“I can only look at the situation in Scotland and I can only speak for the judgments I am making.
“And my advisers say to me, yes, a curfew on pubs is certainly something that should be done and we have taken that decision, but in and of itself it is not going to be enough to arrest this increase in Covid cases and bring the R number down and bring the epidemic under control again.
Test and Trace is not going to reach everyone
The upward trend in positive cases continues in the latest statistics for Test and Trace, which show that 19,278 new people in England tested positive between 10 September and 16 September. © PA Positive coronavirus cases are up 180% since August In the previous week, that number was 18,371, so this is a rise of 3% - which, inevitably, begs all sorts of questions.
“That’s why I made the difficult judgment yesterday to go further.”
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack also addressed the new measures, saying he feels “sorry” for people in parts of Scotland where there are fewer cases of Covid-19 as they have to live with the restrictions.
Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Mr Jack said: “If you’re an elderly person and you’re not able to have visits and you’re lonely, my sympathy goes out to those people.”
The UK Government minister accepted Ms Sturgeon was entitled to take different decisions from those made south of the border.
But he said the new ban on household visits was “the only part of the restrictions announced yesterday which we haven’t agreed across the UK”.
Mr Jack added: “Pretty much everything else we’re all on the same page and aligned, and I would have preferred, myself, a process that we’ve taken in England which is the local lockdown measures.”
Video: Nicola Sturgeon warns ‘hard decisions’ on restrictions may be needed within days (PA Media)
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