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Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE: The latest updates on Thursday
Last updated: Thursday, 26 November, 2020, 12:23
- 51 Covid deaths reported on Thursday
- 1,225 positive cases logged in Scotland
- Scots in shared flats urged not to split up over Christmas
- R number in Scotland sitting slightly below one
- Christmas ‘bubbles’ restricted to eight adults, Scots told
Nicola Sturgeon has said rules allowing people to meet up at Christmas are likely to be tightened when they are set out on Thursday.
Covid-19: Local authorities in England to discover their post-lockdown tiers
The Health Secretary is to set out which tier each local authority in England will fall under after the end of the national lockdown.
Matt Hancock will make the announcement in Parliament on Thursday after the Government set out its Covid-19 “winter plan” earlier this week.
Each area will be placed into one of three tiers when lockdown ends on December 2 – but the system has been toughened from the previous regime, meaning more authorities will move into the higher tiers.
Areas which make progress in slowing the spread of the virus could still be moved down a tier before Christmas, however, with the first review of the allocations due to take place by December 16.
On Wednesday night reports suggested there would be few areas in England placed in Tier 1, with The Times reporting parts of eastern England and remote areas in Cornwall and Cumbria are expected to be allocated the lightest measures.
Meanwhile London was expected to go in Tier 2 along with the majority of the country.
Scot Gov to publish detailed guidance on Christmas rules
During a Covid-19 briefing on Wednesday, First Minister Sturgeon said guidance about the festive period to be issued on Thursday is still being finalised but the Scottish Government will not be “encouraging” people to meet up.
She said: “The expectation should be that the guidance will probably look to tighten around the edges rather than further expand and that will be true with the travel window of opportunity as well – we want to limit that window, not expand it.”
Ms Sturgeon said in England, due to the current form of bubbles there, “three households there, potentially, depending on how they draw the guidance, could effectively become six households”.
The First Minister added: “I think that would be going too far and it would not be something I would be comfortable with in Scotland.”
Scotland currently has a different form of bubbles than England – north of the border, one person who lives alone or with children under the age of 18 can join another household and become an extended household.
When will Nicola Sturgeon speak at First Minister’s Questions and will she tighten Christmas restrictions in Scotland?
'We want to limit that window, not expand it': What will Nicola Sturgeon say about Christmas travel rules at FMQs?
The First Minister is expected to set out the rules for socialising over Christmas in more detail this afternoon.
People will ‘see a difference’ when England’s lockdown ends, says Rishi Sunak
People will “see a difference” when England’s national lockdown ends next week, Rishi Sunak has said, despite an expectation that most of the country will be under Tier 2.
Later on Thursday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock will outline which tier each local authority in England will fall under after the end of the national lockdown.
The Chancellor told Sky News: “Whichever tier you’re in I think people will see a tangible change.
“That said, things are obviously not normal and I can’t pretend that next week things are going to feel like they were before the spring.”
Mr Sunak also confirmed that the Prime Minister Boris Johnson will lead a press conference in Downing Street later on Thursday.
Fuller’s boss awaiting England tier announcements with ‘trepidation’
Simon Emeny, chief executive of pub owner Fuller’s, said that like everyone in his industry he awaits the England tier announcements with “some degree of trepidation”.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think the really difficult pill for us to swallow this week is that the extra restrictions that have been placed in Tier 2 will render something like 73% of sites in the industry in Tier 2 unprofitable and they’re unlikely to open.”
Mr Emeny said it’s a “great worry” for the entire sector, and also the Chancellor, as pubs will not be contributing “much-needed tax revenues”.
He said the attitude towards the hospitality sector “seems to have completely turned on its head”.
“Whilst we can now go to gyms, we can now have our hair cut and go to all shops in all tiers, in pubs they are being singled out for their own unique tier system, which not only is unjustified, but depriving many communities of a vital local amenity over the Christmas break,” he said.
Analysis: Is Nicola Sturgeon happy with the Christmas Covid-19 restrictions
Nicola Sturgeon has known for months now – and has warned the public as such – that the Christmas period in 2020 would be anything but normal.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham tweeted: “Places put into Tier 3 today will get no additional business support funding than those in Tier 1 or Tier 2. Can that possibly be fair? #LevellingDown.”
Museum to make record of Covid-19 dreams
A museum is on the hunt for an unusual collection – Covid-19 dreams.
Anxiety, stress and worry from the pandemic is known to have affected sleep and “dreaming minds” as well as day-to-day life.
The Museum of London now wants to keep a record of dreams from the pandemic for posterity.
It hopes collecting oral testimonies of dreams will help future generations understand the full impact of the crisis.
The link between dreams and mental health and ways of coping with external stresses, particularly in times of crisis, will also be explored.
Its digital curator Foteini Aravani said the dreams will help “document a key shared experience from the pandemic”.
She said the dreams will be collected as first-person oral histories, “to provide a more emotional and personal narrative of this time for future generations”.
Scots in shared flats urged not to split up over Christmas
Scots living in shared flats have been urged not to split from their housemates and form different “bubbles” over Christmas.
Plans announced this week will allow the formation of a single temporary household of up to eight adults from three different households between December 23 and 27.
The UK-wide plans were agreed by Downing Street and the devolved administrations.
But First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has struck a cautious tone in recent days, saying remaining at home should be the “default” position, while she said the easing of restrictions is a “recognition of a reality that exists over the Christmas period, whether I like it or not”.
In Scottish Government guidance published on Thursday, housemates in a shared home who do plan to form a bubble elsewhere are told they should self-isolate from each other for “around a week” before they leave, and after their return.
The guidance states: “People (other than students) who live in a shared flat or house are considered a household and our strong advice is that households should not split up and enter separate bubbles over the festive period.
Tough coronavirus restrictions to be introduced across much of England
Much of England is facing tough coronavirus restrictions under the new post-lockdown tier arrangements , with bans on households mixing indoors and curbs on pubs and restaurants.
An online postcode checker went live before the official announcement to Parliament and indicated that Manchester, Birmingham, Hull, Newcastle, Bristol and Kent were among the places facing the toughest restrictions, while London and Liverpool are being placed in Tier 2.
The new system will apply from December 2 after England’s blanket lockdown ends and restrictions have been tightened after Government scientific advisers warned that previous measures had not been effective enough.
Scots urged to keep ‘Christmas bubbles’ to maximum of eight people
Scots have been urged to keep “bubbles” at Christmas to a maximum of eight people under new guidance issued by the Scottish Government.
Scots living in shared flats are urged not to split up over Christmas
Scots living in shared flats have been told not to split from their housemates and enter separate “bubbles” over the Christmas period.
Postcards created to send ‘one million words of kindness’ by St Andrew’s Day
A new campaign is pushing for “one million words of kindness” to be spread by St Andrew’s Day.
More than 100,000 specially commissioned postcards designed by Edinburgh-based artist Emily Hogarth will be available in Lidl stores across the country for Scots to pick up and write to each other during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is one of several initiatives to mark Scotland’s national day on November 30, including 50 online events such as concerts, exhibitions, dance and community celebrations at the St Andrew’s Fair Saturday Festival.
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Our national day is an opportunity to recognise the resilience and shared kindness we have experienced this year and which has helped us get through these difficult times.
“We may not be able to get together physically to celebrate St Andrew’s Day but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to look out for each other and lift spirits by sharing words of kindness.
“We hope that by November 30 one million kind messages will have been passed around our country and beyond, bringing us together and making people smile.”