The Scotsman

Lock­down ex­tended in west as Stur­geon puts more open­ings on hold

- By SCOTT MACNAB

Fresh coron­avirus lock­down mea­sures have been im­posed on par ts of the west of S cot­land as cor­navirus cases con­tinue to rise. Peo­ple in East Dun­bar­ton­shire and Ren­frew­shire have been or­dered not to go in­side other houses or let peo­ple into their own homes in a bid to stem a surge of cases in re­cent weeks.

The mea­sures were un­veiled after a meet­ing of the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment Res­lience Room (SGORR) ,which also de­cided to con­tinue with sim­i­lar restric­tions in Glas­gow, West Dun­bar­ton­shire and East Ren­frew­shire Coun­cil ar­eas that were im­posed last week.

First Min­is­ter Ni­cola Stur­geon said after wards: “Over re­cent weeks, we have seen a con­tin­ued in­crease in new Covid-19 cases in the Greater Glas­gow & Clyde Health Board area.

“Hav­ing looked at where cases are be­ing iden­ti­fied, the ad­vice from the pub­lic health exp er ts manag­ing this out­break is that restric­tions on in­door gath­er­ings should be ex­tended to Ren­frew­shire and East Dun­bar­ton­shire and con­tinue for at least a fur­ther seven days in Glas­gow, East

Ren­frew­shire and West Dun­bar­ton­shire.

“I un­der­stand this will not be wel­come news for peo­ple liv­ing in th­ese ar­eas but it is nec­es­sary to help us limit the spread of Covid-19. Act­ing now gives us the time and the space to pro­tect peo­ple and get more con­trol over the virus.”

The changes came into ef­fect from mid­night.

Ms Stur­geon had ear­lier ruled out the prospect of Scot­land mov­ing into the next stage of corona virus lock­down exit when she re­views the restric­tions on Thurs­day after a “def­i­nite rise” in cases.

Some of the coun­cils af­fected are also ex­pected to ad­vise against vis­it­ing more than one pub on a night out.

Ms Stur­geon warned ear­lier yes­ter­day that she may have to“put the brakes” on any new changes, which could mean that the prospect of fans re­turn­ing to foot­ball games is on hold and hop es of live mu­sic and theatres mak­ing a re­turn are also scup­pered.

There were 146 new po sitive cases re­ported yes­ter­day. Al­though this is down on the 208 new cases the pre­vi­ous day, it still marks a surge in virus lev­els from six weeks ago when about 14 new cases a day were be­ing re­ported.

The First Min­is­ter said: “Later this week we will have the lat­est three week re­view on the na­tional restric­tions that con­tinue to be in place and I will con­firm the out­come of that in Par­lia­ment on Thurs­day.”

But Scot­land can only move from phase three of the exit route map into phase four if the virus is no longer con­sid­ered a “sig­nif­i­cant threat” to pub­lic health.

Ms Stur­geon added: “All the lat­est statis­tics are clear that would not be the case.

“And it may be, while those de­ci­sions have not been taken yet, it may be that we have to put the brakes on some fur­ther changes too.”

The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment had ear­marked the prospect of eas­ing a num­ber of changes planned from 14 Septem­ber, de­pend­ing on the out­come of Thurs­day’s re­view.

The prospect of in­door soft play ar­eas mak­ing a re­turn, along with theatres and in­door live mu­sic venues, could also now be thwarted.

Sports sta­di­ums were also hope­ful of reopen­ing for lim­ited num­bers of spec­ta­tors, with phys­i­cal dis­tanc­ing in place.

The re­stricted num­bers at wed­ding and civil part­ner­ship re­cep­tions and fu­neral wakes were also in line to be eased, al­though not com­pletely.

There will be a fur­ther re­view be­fore a de­ci­sion is taken on when non-es­sen­tial of­fices and call cen­tres can re­sume op­er­a­tions.

Greater Glas­gow and Clyde re­mains a fo­cus of con­cern in Scot­land, with 78 new cases recorded there yes­ter­day.

The pro­por­tion of peo­ple test­ing pos­i­tive for the virus has also risen from un­der 1 per cent two weeks ago to 2.4 per cent now.

The lat­est fig­ures show there were no new deaths and hospi­tal cases are con­tin­u­ing to rise only mod­estly, up by 12 to 256.

But the coun­try risks the prospect of a “mount­ing toll of ill­ness and death” if ac­tion to com­bat coron­avirus is to stop, Ms Stur­geon warned.

She said young peo­ple are cur­rently mak­ing up a higher pro­por­tion of pos­i­tive cases.

“If trans­mis­sion takes hold again, even if it starts in the younger, health­ier, part of the pop­u­la­tion, which it ap­pears to be do­ing, be­cause younger peo­ple are in­ter­act­ing more, it won’ t nec­es­sar­ily stay in that par t of the pop­u­la­tion,” she said.

“It will even­tu­ally seep into older and more vul­ner­a­ble groups. To be blunt, some young peo­ple will go onto in­fect their older friends or rel­a­tives.

“And it is at that point we could see again more deaths and se­ri­ous ill­nesses hap­pen.”

Ms Stur­geon said there is a “warn­ing” in the rise in Covid-19 hospi­tal ad­mis­sions.

In the past three weeks, half of all hospi­tal ad­mis­sions have been in the Greater Glas­gow and Clyde Health Board area, she added.

 ??  ?? Fans re­turn­ing to foot­ball games would be put on hold if the First Min­is­ter Ni­cola Stur­geon de­cides to ‘put the brakes on’ any changes to the eas­ing of lock­down
Fans re­turn­ing to foot­ball games would be put on hold if the First Min­is­ter Ni­cola Stur­geon de­cides to ‘put the brakes on’ any changes to the eas­ing of lock­down
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