Nicola Sturgeon EXTENDS Scotland’s coronavirus circuit breaker

Nicola Sturgeon announces closure of pubs and restaurants in central belt will be EXTENDED until November 2 after Scotland records highest number of coronavirus deaths since May

  • Closure of pubs and restaurants in central belt being extended to November 2
  • Nicola Sturgeon said extension will allow for smooth shift to new tier system 
  • Came as Scotland recorded 28 Covid-19 deaths – highest number since May 21 

Nicola Sturgeon today announced pub and restaurant closures across the central belt will be extended until November 2 after Scotland recorded its highest number of coronavirus deaths since May. 

The First Minister imposed the closure of hospitality venues in Covid-19 hotspots as well as a 6pm indoor hospitality curfew in other areas earlier this month.

The rules were originally due to last for two weeks but Ms Sturgeon said this lunchtime that the measures have to be kept in place for longer.  

The original introduction of the measures prompted hospitality chiefs to warn of a ‘death sentence’ for hundreds of Scottish venues. 

Ms Sturgeon made clear she believed the extension of the measures was necessary after Scotland recorded a further 28 Covid-19 deaths and an additional 1,739 cases – the highest number of fatalities since May 21. 

Nicola Sturgeon today extended the closure of pubs and restaurants in Scotland’s central belt by another week

The hospitality rules banned the sale of alcohol inside pubs and restaurants nationwide and imposed a 6pm curfew on all indoor hospitality premises. 

The total closure of hospitality venues applies to five hotspot areas in the central belt – an area which includes Edinburgh and Glasgow and is home to approximately 70 per cent of Scotland’s population.

Ms Sturgeon said restrictions on hospitality north of the border will remain in place for a week longer than previously stated.

The SNP leader said this would allow for a ‘smooth’ transition to a new tiered restriction system which is due to come into effect from November 2 and the details of which will be published in Friday this week. 

Restrictions put in place two weeks ago on hospitality businesses were due to end on October 26.

Ms Sturgeon said while there is ‘cautious optimism’ that the measures are working, Scottish ministers were told by advisers that it would not be safe to lift the measures from Monday as had been planned.

The First Minister said: ‘The extension allows us to transition more smoothly to the new levels system that we hope will be introduced on November 2.’

A restriction against gatherings in people’s homes will also continue until November 2.

Ms Sturgeon said the coronavirus death toll in Scotland now stands at 2,653.   

The figure is lower than the 4,376 deaths given earlier by the National Records of Scotland as they do not include suspected and probable coronavirus infections.

Ms Sturgeon said 50,903 people have now tested positive in Scotland, up from 49,164 on Monday.

The daily test positivity rate is 9.7 per cent, down from 11.4 per cent on the previous day.

Of the new cases, 605 are in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 520 in Lanarkshire, 250 in Lothian, and 105 in Ayrshire and Arran.

There are 873 people in hospital confirmed to have the virus as of yesterday, up by 49 in 24 hours. Of these patients, 73 are in intensive care, a rise of three.