Scotland to extend Covid hospitality closures for a further week, Nicola Sturgeon reveals

Nicola Sturgeon acknowledged restrictions are tough on tens of thousands of people. Credit: PA

Coronavirus restrictions in Scotland which saw the closure of pubs and restaurants in the central belt and a 6pm indoor hospitality curfew elsewhere are to be extended until November 2, Nicola Sturgeon has said.Scotland’s First Minister has said that restrictions on hospitality north of the border will be in place for a week longer than previously stated.

The Scottish Government will publish a tiered system of restrictions on Friday, Nicola Sturgeon has said, and it will come into effect on November 2.

However, restrictions put in place two weeks ago on hospitality businesses were due to end on October 26.

Ms Sturgeon said that while there is “cautious optimism” that the restrictions are working, Scottish ministers were told by advisers that it would not be safe to lift the measures from Monday.

The First Minister said: “The extension allows us to transition more smoothly to the new levels system that we hope will be introduced on November 2.”

A restriction against gatherings in people’s homes will also continue until November 2.

A large part of Central Scotland is in another lockdown. Credit: PA

Scotland has recorded 28 deaths from coronavirus and 1,739 positive tests in the past 24 hours, Nicola Sturgeon said – the highest number of fatalities since May 21.

The First Minister told the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing the death toll under this measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – has risen to 2,653.

Ms Sturgeon said she understands the extension of coronavirus restrictions in Scotland is “harsh” financially and emotionally.

Speaking at the coronavirus update in Edinburgh, the First Minister said: “I know all of this is really unwelcome and I know that these restrictions are harsh.

“They are harsh financially for many individuals and businesses, and they are harsh emotionally for all of us.

“I want to stress again that none of these decisions are being taken lightly – this is all about trying to save lives and minimise the health damage that we know this virus is capable of doing.”

The First Minister said the Scottish Government believes the restrictions, which have curbed the operations of hospitality businesses, are having a positive effect.