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Coronavirus update: Cabinet to decide on further restrictions within 24 hours

By David Porter

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The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has made it very clear today that further restrictions will be brought into effect in an effort to curb the increase in coronavirus cases.

The total number of cases for Scotland in the last 24 hours saw 255 new positive cases which equates to 6.3 per cent of people tested.

A total of 103 cases were recorded in the NHS Greater Glasgow area, 47 in Lanarkshire and 30 in Lothian with the remaining 75 new cases spread across every mainland health board area.

Speaking in her daily briefing the First Minister said; "Covid is spreading again across Scotland and thanks to collective efforts we are in a better position, but with it on a spread again, doing nothing in the face of this rapid spread is not an option.

"We endorse the overall message given by Patrick Valance and Chris Whitty this morning.

"The R number in Scotland is above 1 and the percentage of positive tests continues to rise.

"In some health boards it is higher than that and cases are not restricted to clusters."

She continued: "The number of cases is not as high as spring and in addition hospital admissions are not on a scale as seen back in spring as majority of cases in the under 40s.

"But it will start to affect older people and we are starting to see that already.

"If new cases rise, that situation will rise as will the number of people who die.

"Further and urgent action will now be needed to stop the rise.

"The longer we wait the longer they will need to be in place.

"If we wait it will take longer to come out the other side.

"We are introducing a package of measures to bring the R number down."

She continued: "I am speaking to the prime minister straight after this meeting.

"I am willing to allow more time for four nations discussion but we will not wait.

"The Scottish cabinet will meet tomorrow and additional restrictions will come into force."

She also noted the effects this will have and said: "Our package will also help to support those who are self-isolating.

"While we will keep enforcement under review - it is better to remove barriers to self-isolation.

"We will be putting a financial package in place for those on low income - no one should be forced to choose between compliance and for example earning wages for rent.

"This is a serious moment again for the country, we cannot allow cases to rise.

"It is not a virus we can be complacent about allowing people to get."

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