logo Member of Parliament for Glasgow East

Covid-19 update

Published on

This afternoon, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon set out a further tightening of the lockdown restrictions. It is hoped that these minor changes will further reduce opportunities for the virus to spread and will help reduce infection levels. There are six main changes in total, which are outlined below:

  • Click and collect services
    Only retailers selling essential items will be allowed to offer click and collect. Retailers must offer staggered appointments to avoid customers having to queue. Inside access to premises will not be permitted.
  • Takeaway services
    Customers can no longer go inside premises to collect takeaway food or drink. Businesses should serve customers outside from a serving hatch or doorway.
  • Consumption of alcohol
    Outdoor drinking in public places will be banned in all Level 4 areas across Scotland.
  • Working from home
    The Scottish Government will strengthen the obligation on employers to allow their staff to work from home where possible. Statutory guidance will be introduced which will make clear to employers that they must support staff where possible.
  • Work inside homes
    The provisions in relation to work inside people’s houses will be strengthened. Guidance advising that work inside homes can only be carried out if it is essential to the upkeep, maintenance and functioning of the household will be put into law.
  • Stay at home
    The regulations will be strengthened to make clear that people must not leave or remain outside their home for anything other than an essential purpose.

These changes will take effect on Saturday, pending the approval of the Scottish Parliament.

Visit gov.scot/coronavirus for detailed information from the Scottish Government on Coronavirus.

I know these are tough times and the tightening of restrictions is difficult news, however there was some positive news in today’s briefing. There are some early signs that lockdown is beginning to have an effect. The rapid increase in cases seen a few weeks ago seems to have slowed and stabilised. Although infection rates are still high, there is some cause for optimism that the growth of the virus is coming under control.

Ultimately, it is mass vaccination which offer most hope. As of yesterday, 191,965 people in Scotland had received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. As supply of the vaccine grows, that number will continue to climb rapidly.

Additionally, more than 80% of care home residents in Scotland have now been vaccinated as well as more than half of frontline health and social care workers. By the start of February, it is expected that all those over 80 will have received their first dose. By mid-february, all those over 70 should have been offered their vaccination. It is the aim of the Scottish Government to vaccinate all over-65s and those with extreme clinical vulnerability by the end of February.

And by the start of March, 1.4 million people across Scotland should have received at least their first vaccine dose.

Please do stick with it. Better times are ahead.