Scotland will be forced to go back into a national lockdown at midnight this evening, Nicola Sturgeon announced this afternoon.
The leader of the SNP announced, earlier this afternoon, that a new lockdown will come into effect for the entirety of the month of January as of midnight this evening. This will include a legally enforceable stay-at-home rule which will only allow very little lenience.
What will be tolerated?
Exercise and essential trips that require one to leave home will be tolerated and serve as justification for people to venture outside. Previously planned date to reopen school set for January 18 will be pushed back to February first at the very earliest. Similarly, workers will be instructed to work from home when possible.
For outdoor gatherings, only a maximum of two people from two separate households will be allowed. And places of worship will be closed as of Friday but weddings and funerals will remain as scheduled. A maximum of 20 people will be allowed to attend funeral services while a maximum of five people will be allowed to attend the latter.
Reaction from the First Minister
Nicola Sturgeon expressed the urgency of respecting these new strict measures in light of the explosion of new coronavirus infections which have reached a new record of 2, 464 cases according to yesterday's statistics. She said:
we consider that this stay at home message and advice is now so important that from tomorrow it will become law, just as it was in the lockdown last year. This means it will only be permissible to leave home for an essential purpose. This will include, for example, caring responsibilities, essential shopping, exercise and being part of an extended household.
These new measures will also be seen in England as the new super-spreading strain has ravaged the country with over 50 thousand daily new cases over the last week, effectively meaning that a return to the restrictions seen during the first UK-wide lockdown back in March of last year will be reinstated.