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:
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.