Nicola Sturgeon due to announce new coronavirus restrictions for Scotland
Nicola Sturgeon is due to announce new coronavirus restrictions in a statement to the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday afternoon.
The First Minister is expected to set out the details of the next steps the Scottish Government will take at around 2.50pm.
She has said the new measures will not amount to Scotland going into another lockdown as was the case in March.
The announcement will follow a cabinet meeting on Wednesday morning when details of the new restrictions will be decided.
The First Minister has described the situation as “the most difficult decision point we have faced so far”.
However, the closure of schools has been ruled out, as have Scotland-wide travel restrictions.
There will be no requirement for people to stay inside their homes most of the time, as was the case in March, though some additional measures in “hotspot” areas might be necessary.
Speaking at the daily coronavirus briefing, the First Minister said she was receiving “very strong” public health advice that new measures were needed in response to rising Covid-19 cases.
Infections are beginning to spread from younger sections of the population to older age groups, she said.
The average number of daily cases rose from 285 two weeks ago – when the ban on indoor household visiting was introduced – to 729.
Ms Sturgeon added: “The situation is not out of control, but it is a cause of increasing concern.”
There has been speculation of further restrictions on the hospitality sector, which led to a trade body voicing deep concern on Tuesday evening.
Emma McClarkin, of the Scottish Beer & Pub Association, said: “If the Scottish Government is to implement further harsh restrictive measures to our sector, it must include a dedicated package of support alongside it.
“Without it, the Scottish Government will leave our pubs and thousands of jobs doomed to failure.”
Professor Hugh Pennington, emeritus professor of bacteriology at the University of Aberdeen, said a targeted approach would work better than bringing in “more draconian rules”.
“At the moment we do not need to bring in any more rules that will hammer the hospitality sector, or the economy at large. There needs to be a razor-sharp focus on getting the current systems running smoothly and effectively,” he wrote in The Sun.
“We need to hold our nerve, rather than hitting the panic button.”Published: by Radio NewsHub