Sturgeon Warns of Tougher Restrictions to Stop New Coronavirus Variant in Scotland

Date: 2020-12-22 18:54:01

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Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned on Tuesday tougher measures may still be needed in the country to combat the spread of a new variant of coronavirus.

Speaking to lawmakers at the Scottish Parliament, Sturgeon said the new strain of the virus seemed to be spreading more quickly than the main type.

She said ministers would need to consider whether the country’s current top tier restrictions – level 4 – were “sufficient” for suppressing the new variant.

These mean the hospitality sector and non-essential retail stores will be forced to close but takeaway services can remain open.

Sturgeon said that delays to children returning to school in the New Year were being kept under review.

Schools had been due to reopen on January 5, but for a majority of pupils the start of the new term has been delayed until January 11, with classes moving online for at least the first week.

“At this stage, our intention is that schools will get back to normal from the 18th of January. But of course we will require to keep this under review,” Sturgeon said.

She also warned the UK government that there was “no time to lose” in getting Britain’s border with France reopened and trade moving again.

Countries across the world have banned flights and travel from the U.K. due to concerns over the new variant of the virus, with France barring the entry of trucks for 48 hours.

“This situation is serious, it is urgent, and for our food exporters, it is rapidly deteriorating,” she said.

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