Coronavirus in Scotland: The latest restrictions

Credit: PA / Scottish Parliament

Household gatherings have been banned in Scotland in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19, the First Minister has announced.

Pubs and restaurants will also have to close at 10pm every night from Friday and employees should still work from home if they can. It follows a similar restrictions enforced in England on Monday evening.

Nicola Sturgeon announced the ban on visiting other homes will come into force on Wednesday, with exemptions for people living alone who form extended households, non-cohabiting couples and childcare.

The First Minister said that data suggests this measure has reduced the spread of the virus in the west of Scotland and extending it to the rest of the country will hopefully reduce transmission.Outdoor gatherings of a maximum of six people from two households are still allowed, however the first minister has asked for people to not share cars if they don't live together.

It comes a day after the First Minister announced that Covid-19 was spreading again in Scotland, She said "further and urgent action" was needed to stop the increase, warning if left unchecked it will lead to more cases, people in hospital and deaths.

Addressing the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, she said the new rules were “necessary and essential”.

“Keeping to all these rules isn’t easy – but they remain the best way for all of us to protect ourselves, each other, the NHS and ultimately save lives.

“All of this is incredibly tough – and six months on it only gets tougher.

“Though it doesn’t feel like this now, this pandemic will pass.

“It won’t last forever and one day, hopefully soon, we will be looking back on it, not living through it.”

Credit: PA

The First Minister responded to reports that these new measures could be in place for six months, she told MSPs: “It is certainly the case, until scientific developments such as a vaccine change the game in the battle against Covid-19, it will have an impact on our lives.

“That doesn’t necessarily mean that all of the new restrictions I am announcing today will be in place for six months.

“By acting early and substantially, our hope is that these new measures will be in place for a shorter period than would be the case if we waited longer to act.”

The restrictions will be reviewed every three weeks.