Covid in Scotland: Nicola Sturgeon to announce new restrictions

New restrictions aimed at slowing a surge in coronavirus cases are to be announced by Scotland’s first minister.
Nicola Sturgeon has already stressed the new rules will not signal a return to full lockdown, even for a short period of time.
It is likely that pubs in areas with higher levels of the virus will have much tighter restrictions imposed.
The industry has called on the Scottish government to provide financial support for any businesses that are affected.
The virus has been spreading particularly quickly in the central belt of Scotland, including the Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Lothian, Forth Valley and Ayrshire and Arran health board areas.
It is expected that the new rules will be primarily focused on these “hotspot” areas – potentially alongside some less stringent national measures.
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Live updates on Nicola Sturgeon’s speech
Ms Sturgeon will confirm the new measures in a speech to the Scottish Parliament at about 14:50 BST.
Education Secretary John Swinney will also update MSPs later in the day on plans for school exams in Scotland next year.
The first minister said in June that she believed Scotland was “not far away” from eliminating the virus.
But the number of people testing positive has increased sharply in recent weeks – in keeping with some other parts of the UK and Europe – despite Scotland generally taking a more cautious approach to the virus than England.

About 730 new cases are being recorded every day in Scotland on average – compared with 285 a fortnight ago – with the number of people dying or being admitted to hospital also increasing.
Across the UK, a further 14,542 cases were confirmed on Tuesday – a figure that has trebled in a fortnight.
Last month, people in Scotland were banned from visiting other homes, with strict limits also in force for outdoor meetings and a 22:00 curfew imposed for pubs and restaurants.
Ms Sturgeon said on Tuesday that the rising number of cases meant “additional targeted steps” were now needed if the country was to attempt to bring the virus back under control before winter.

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