Scotland 'lockdown 2.0': What could the new Covid-19 restrictions look like?

Scotland is braced for "lockdown 2.0" but it’s unlikely to happen - at least not yet. 

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is at great pains to stress when she imposes new Covid restrictions in an announcement on Wednesday afternoon, it won’t look or feel anything like the lockdown of earlier this year.

People will not be asked to stay indoors and only exercise once a day.

There will be no nationwide five-mile travel ban.

Schools will stay open.

The details have yet to be confirmed but there will be significant changes that put Scotland into reverse. 

It is expected much of the focus will be on the hospitality sector; pubs, cafes, restaurants and even hotels will likely be hardest-hit with tough new measures to halt the spread of coronavirus.

Pub-goers in Scotland Credit: PA

Indoor service is likely to be massively reduced if not shut down completely for a fixed period. Two weeks is what’s being suggested.

While deliveries and takeaways may be permitted to stay open, some businesses will simply have to close their doors during this time and hope for the best.

There is also a fear some businesses won’t reopen. 

They were getting by - just - with restrictions on business but another closure could be the tipping point.

Scotland’s National Clinical Director, Jason Leitch, has billed the new measures as a "short, sharp, shock."

He believes this will buy more time, and potentially save more lives, in the hope a vaccine will then come to the rescue. 

My own sources tell me there is not uniform agreement that these new measures will be all that effective though.

Some who have been giving advice want to go further and close borders, otherwise they predict the virus will simply re-seed and spread once again in a few weeks once we lift these restrictions.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during a visit to the NHS Louisa Jordan Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA

Then the danger is Scotland becomes trapped in a perpetual cycle of lockdown hardening and softening, in and out, with no real end in sight. 

Ms Sturgeon was palpably trying to prevent any panic today by reassuring the people of Scotland that whatever new restrictions she announces tomorrow it absolutely is not lockdown, it’s nothing like a lockdown, so please would everyone stop calling it lockdown?

She was also clear, though, that doing nothing is not an option at this stage. 

Scotland’s Covid numbers are rising at an unacceptable rate and short-term pain now will provide long-term gain as we look ahead to what could be a particularly bleak winter.