Nicola Sturgeon briefing LIVE: First Minister issues latest coronavirus updates

Follow here for all coronavirus updates in Scotland, the UK and around the world.

Follow here for the latest updates on coronavirus in Scotland.

Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE

Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE: Follow here for all of Monday’s updates

Key Events

  • Aberdeen restrictions to be lifted.
  • 66 new cases of coronavirus.
  • No new deaths across Scotland.
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Breakdown of new cases:

There have been 66 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Scotland. Ms Sturgeon confirmed that 14 of the new cases were reported in Tayside, 15 in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 17 in Lanarkshire, and 5 in Grampian.

Three more Covid-19 patients in hospital

Three more people are in hospital with coronavirus - bringing the total to 248

No new deaths in Scotland

The First Minister confirmed that the total number of deaths in Scotland of people who tested positive for Covid-19 remains 2,492.

Coronavirus pandemic leads to increase in number of police complaints

The coronanvirus pandemic has led to an increase in the number of complaints about police, according to statistics on the first quarter of the year.

Police Scotland’s Quarter 1 Performance report covers the period from April to June.

It found confidence in policing was high, with 63% of 22,000 people questioned agreeing that they had confidence in their local police.

But it also recorded 1,676 complaints, up 14.4% on the same period the previous year.

More than a quarter of these (26.3%) were related to Covid-19.

Complaints concerned officers failing to physically distance, failing to enforce physical distancing by the public and not wearing PPE.

They also involved “allegations of incivility” over officers attempting to “engage with individuals regarding their presence in a public place”.

The report also found officers made 59,778 interventions under coronavirus legislation.

This included 42 premises being closed, 3,164 fixed penalty notices issued, 263 arrests made and 339 people “returned home using reasonable force”.

The report found that 171 police officers or staff have contracted Covid-19, with all but two having now recovered.

An increase in hate crime from mid-May was attributed in part to the pandemic.

“A significant number of hate crimes relate to neighbour disputes many of which likely result from heightened tensions stemming from the pandemic situation,” the report said.

A summary of crime statistics over the quarter found that most violent crime has decreased with the exception of robberies and assault of emergency workers, with the latter up 11.2%.

Online crimes of child sexual abuse increased by 438 to 530 and there was a 54.2% increase in fraud on the previous year.

An additional 4,082 antisocial behaviour fixed penalties were issued compared to the same period last year, with more than half related to Covid-19 regulations.

And the coronavirus lockdown led to an increase in noise complaints and neighbour disputes.

The report also said public confidence in policing was up by over 20 percentage points during the first quarter of 2020-21.

But it found the public was more frustrated with police when it came to coronavirus calls.

Almost two quarters (71%) said they were satisfied with police after contacting them compared to 60% in cases related to Covid-19.

The statistics also show a reduction in satisfaction with police contact in comparison to the same period last year, but this was attributed to a change in methodology.

A total of 1,775 police officers and staff were assaulted during the quarter, up 7.2%.

While the proportion of assaults leading to injury reduced, this was attributed to officers being coughed or spat at during the pandemic.

A total of £7 million of laundered cash was recovered by police during the quarter and £25 million pounds worth of controlled drugs seized.

Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor said officers “discharged their duties with courtesy, compassion and common sense to help the people of Scotland” during the “extraordinary period” covered by the first quarter.

“We will continue to value the bond of trust which policing and the public have forged together and which has been further strengthened during this unprecedented period,” she said.

Addressing the latest crime statistics, she added: “While decreases in violent and acquisitive crime, as well as a reduction in road casualties, are all to be welcomed, this report covers a relatively short period of time and care must be taken to avoid assumptions around trends.

“Operational demand has increased significantly in recent weeks and is returning to what we would normally expect to see.

“Sadly, home is not a safe place for everyone and we have taken proactive steps to identify those at risk and give support to those who need our help.

“Policing will continue to operate in public, private and virtual spaces to keep people safe.”

Today’s coronavirus briefing

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will hold a virtual coronavirus briefing at 12.15pm with interim chief medical officer Dr Gregor Smith.

Scottish Government and Westminster must ‘work in tandem’ to tackle jobs crisis

The Scottish Government is being urged to work with Westminster to tackle the employment crisis Scotland is facing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Think tank Reform Scotland said as both governments had a degree of responsibility for dealing with unemployment, partnership working was necessary for any proposals to be “as effective as they can”.

It insisted Boris Johnson’s Conservative administration and Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP government in Edinburgh “must work in tandem, not against each other” and added: “Individuals desperately searching for work have little concern for constitutional politics.”

The think tank made the plea in a new report on the issue of training in the wake of the pandemic.

As well as calling for partnership between the two governments, Reform Scotland said ministers also needed to work with local councils and private businesses.

And it said ministers must now have the same focus on dealing with rising numbers of jobless in Scotland as they had on helping the NHS in the early days of the pandemic.

Reform Scotland stated: “At the start of the year the Scottish Government acted fast, implemented change, and thought the unthinkable to ensure our health system could cope with the potential threat of Covid-19.

“As we move out of lock-down and restore freedoms, that same focus must now turn to unemployment.”

The report called for a major expansion of the Individual Training Account (ITA) scheme which provides some people with cash to help with the cost of gaining new skills.

“While 14,000 ITA applications are allowed for, that figure is dwarfed by the 736,500 Scots who have been furloughed,” it noted.

With more people now working remotely, instead of from the office, the report also warned that those without access to data, devices and space to work would find themselves disadvantaged.

Noting that communication company EE was currently providing unlimited data to NHS staff, the think tank questioned: “Can that same spirit be utilised to help those out of work?”

It went on to suggest people should be able to book rooms in public buildings free of charge where they could go to do online interviews.

Reform Scotland director Chris Deerin said: “The Covid-19 crisis is an unprecedented event in our lifetimes, and it requires an unprecedented response.

“Just as the government and the nation mobilised to bolster the NHS during the early stages of the virus, we now need to mobilise to help the economy recover.

“We face a jobs, training and growth crisis. The Government has to lead us out of it, but it cannot and should not do it alone.

“Due to the technological revolution, the shape of the economy was changing anyway, so these difficult times also offer an opportunity to match the workforce to future opportunities in growth sectors.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We understand the devastating impact this pandemic has had on employment, and our focus is on protecting, creating, and supporting skilled jobs.

“We recently set out our strategy for building a stronger, fairer and greener economic future for Scotland after Covid-19, including policies to generate significant economic growth while supporting jobs, skills and training.

“We are developing further skills interventions to support these objectives and our ambitions for an agile, competitive and inclusive economy.

“The winding down of the UK Government’s furlough scheme will put even more jobs at risk, and we remain disappointed the UK Government has declined to extend the Job Retention Scheme for sectors that will continue to be affected by the virus beyond October.”

Leisure and entertainment venues reopen across Scotland

More lockdown restrictions have been eased across Scotland, allowing for further entertainment and leisure facilities to reopen.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced on Thursday that bingo halls, casinos, snooker halls, funfairs and amusement arcades can reopen on Monday, with physical distancing and hygiene measures in place.

It is more than seven weeks since similar moves were made in England for venues such as bingo halls.

Some outdoor live events are now permitted, with physical distancing, while driving lessons and contact sports outside can also resume.

Indoor face-to-face advisory services, such as Citizens Advice, can restart.

At the time, Ms Sturgeon said: “I hope the reopening of some services will be welcomed because we know it is essential to reduce the economic harm this virus is doing, but I hope people will also understand why, as we try to open services and keep them open, we must take firm action when rules and guidance are not being complied with.”

The news was welcomed across affected industries, while a live event was announced as part of the Edinburgh festivals season.

Nathan Cassidy’s Observational show will take place at The Three Sisters on Monday, with physical distancing, hygiene and restricted numbers.

Derek Mitchell, chief executive of Citizens Advice Scotland, said that the reopening of its bureaux was vital for supporting the most vulnerable people face to face.

Staff member and pupils contract Covid-19 at High Blantyre Primary School

An NHS Test and Protect team has descended on a Lanarkshire primary school after a staff member and two pupils tested positive for coronavirus over the weekend.

NHS Lanarkshire said the High Blantyre Primary School staff member tested positive on August 22 followed by two of its pupils a day later.

The health board said both last visited the school on August 20.

Despite the new cases, most other pupils at the primary school, which reopened less than a fortnight ago, will not be sent home.

NHS Lanarkshire, said there was “currently no evidence” to suggest there has been transmission of the virus at the school, and insisted the risk to the wider school community is low.

Two year groups have been asked to self-isolate ahead of testing as a precaution, after a risk assessment by NHS Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire Council.

All children and staff in P3 and P4 have been asked not to attend school. They will be offered testing on Wednesday, August 26 and told to self-isolate until they receive confirmation of a negative result.

Read the full story

Johnson urges parents to send children back to school despite coronavirus

Boris Johnson has issued a plea to parents to send their children back to the classroom when schools reopen next month.

The Prime Minister said the risk of contracting coronavirus in schools is "very small", and that pupils face greater harm by continuing to stay at home.

Many pupils in England have not been to class since March, when schools were closed except to look after vulnerable children and those of keyworkers.

Schools in Scotland reopened earlier this month, while those in Northern Ireland will welcome pupils again on Monday. English and Welsh schools will follow suit in September.

Mr Johnson said: “I have previously spoken about the moral duty to reopen schools to all pupils safely, and I would like to thank the school staff who have spent the summer months making classrooms Covid-secure in preparation for a full return in September.”

Aberdeen lockdown: Timeline for the lifting of restrictions announced

Nicola Sturgeon has announced that restrictions in Aberdeen will be lifted after compliance checks.

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