Nicola Sturgeon has announced “stringent” new measures in Scotland’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
The First Minister last night instructed the nation to stay at home except for essential outings.
- Shopping for basic necessities, like food and medicines
- For one form of exercise per day
- For any medical needs
- To help or care for a vulnerable person
- To travel to and from essential work.
She said the new measures amounted to a “lockdown” which was necessary to slow the spread of the virus and ease pressure on emergency services.
Ms. Sturgeon made the announcement from St. Andrew’s House, Edinburgh on Monday, the same day coronavirus deaths in Scotland increased by four to 14.
The First Minister said: “Let me blunt. The stringent restrictions on our normal day to day lives that I’m about to set out are difficult and they are unprecedented. They amount effectively to what has been described as a lockdown.
“I am not going to sugarcoat it in any way. Coronavirus is the biggest challenge of our lifetime. Stay at home. That is the message I gave yesterday and I am reinforcing that message now.”
PLEASE STAY AT HOME – except for these limited reasons:
-To shop for basic necessities
-For one form of exercise a day
-For medical/care needs, or to help a vulnerable person
-To travel to and from work but only if it is a necessity.
LIVES REALLY DO DEPEND ON IT. #coronavirus
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) March 23, 2020
Her announcement came shortly after Boris Johnson’s televised speech from Westminster, which set out the same measures.
As part of the lockdown and to ensure compliance, the First Minister said that all non-essential shops must close, along with libraries, playgrounds and places of worship.
Gatherings of two or more people are now prohibited, unless part of a household or within an essential work environment.
Weddings and christenings must not take place, and funerals are now restricted to immediate family.
She said these measures are not advice but a “set of rules” which have been laid out to protect individuals, communities and the NHS.
The police will be given increased powers later this week to help reinforce the measures, including the ability to fine those who break them.
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