'More restrictions possible' as Nicola Sturgeon warns household measures to stay for 'foreseeable future'

Nicola Sturgeon has said further restrictions may be needed in Scotland as she prepares to publish the Scottish Government’s new tier-based system for lockdowns.

The First Minister said household restrictions currently in place which mean people are not allowed to gather with another household inside are here to stay for the “foreseeable future”.

The Scottish Government is set to announce its plans for any restrictions or measures when it unveils its long-awaited replacement for its route map out of lockdown, which was considered defunct in September.

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A deserted Royal Mile in Edinburgh during the initial March lockdown: JPI MediaA deserted Royal Mile in Edinburgh during the initial March lockdown: JPI Media
A deserted Royal Mile in Edinburgh during the initial March lockdown: JPI Media
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Ms Sturgeon said she would release the details of the ‘strategic framework’ towards the end of this week. She said the document would provide a level of clarity on what restrictions will be in place and which part of the country they apply to, and how the Scottish Government will react to future outbreaks.

The First Minister said the document would not be an exhaustive list of options, with a “degree of judgement” involved in future decisions linked to the framework’s tiers.

The new framework will be debated in Parliament next week after the temporary restrictions in place for hospitality expire on Monday, October 26.

The First Minister said schools remaining open would be viewed as a key aspect of the plan.

Ms Sturgeon said: “The framework will also summarise our work to improve the effectiveness of existing measures to curb Covid – for example, how we will work to improve compliance with FACTS advice and all of the other guidelines; the review of our testing strategy and how we will continue to support Test and Protect; and also how we will provide support for businesses and individuals so that they can comply with all that they are being asked to do, either now or in the future.

“Publication of the framework is an important step, as we look ahead to the winter and prepare to manage the virus over, what may well be and I would expect to be, a very challenging period.

Ms Sturgeon said she would not go into any detail about any planned restrictions. She said that any potential cross-border travel ban would be included in the information published at the end of the week.

The First Minister added: “We have to, over the course of this week, decide what the position will be across Scotland and whether it will be the same in all parts of Scotland or whether there will be variations in different parts of Scotland when the temporary restrictions on hospitality are due to expire on Monday, October 26.

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"It is not realistic to expect that we will go back to normality at that point.

"For example, the household restrictions will continue to be in place I think for the foreseeable future and it may be that we need to have some further restrictions over and above that.

"These will be discussions that the Scottish Government is happening over the next couple of days with out clinical advisers.

"As we set out our new strategic framework towards the end of the week, we will also set out what measures and restrictions we would intend to be in place from Monday across Scotland.”

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