First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has said the country will lock down from midnight tonight for the rest of January.

There will be a legal requirement to stay at home except for essential service for example shopping for food or caring for a relative.

It is only permissible to go to work if your job cannot be done at home. She says that every business needs to look again and make sure every function that can be done at home is done at home.

New guidance for those shielding will also be introduced. If you are shielding but cannot work from home, do not go to work .

A maximum of two people from two households are able to meet indoors. Children under 11 are not included.

Travel restrictions will remain in place. People in a Level 4 area , effectively everywhere bar the islands cannot leave your area. And no one can leave or enter Scotland unless for an essential purpose.

All places of worship must be closed, for all except broadcasting a service, a small wedding with five guests or a funeral with up to 20 people.

The First Minister also said that all over 50s and other vulnerable people in Scotland should get first dose of vaccine by early May

In England the former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has called for the closure of schools and borders and a ban on household mixing “right away”

Hunt who is the chairman of the Commons Health and Social Care Committee said in a series of tweets that

“We cannot afford to wait: all schools should be closed, international travel stopped, household mixing limited and the tier system reviewed so that the highest tier really does bring down infection levels (as with the first lockdown)” adding that

“To those arguing winter is always like this in the NHS: you are wrong. I faced four serious winter crises as Health Sec and the situation now is off-the-scale worse than any of those.”

Hunt said that a third more hospital beds are now taken up nationally by covid patients than in Wave 1 (50% in SE). Having a new strain in the middle of winter is clearly having a massive impact.

The good news, he said is that unlike before these restrictions will be time limited to the 12 weeks or so it will take to get the vaccine out to those most vulnerable to covid – so there is light at the end of the tunnel.




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