Scotland in Lockdown: Nicola Sturgeon's speech in full

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said new coronavirus restrictions "amount to a lockdown".

Nicola Sturgeon has said new coronavirus restrictions "amount to a lockdown".On Monday evening the First Minister of Scotland made a televised address to the nation announcing drastic new measures to curb social interaction and combat Covid-19.

Here is Ms Sturgeon’s speech in full:

“As you know Cobra met late this afternoon, all four UK governments received updated advice from our scientists and our chief medical officers.

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Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon holds a briefing on the COVID-19 outbreak in Edinburgh.  Picture: Andy Buchanan/PA WireScotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon holds a briefing on the COVID-19 outbreak in Edinburgh.  Picture: Andy Buchanan/PA Wire
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon holds a briefing on the COVID-19 outbreak in Edinburgh. Picture: Andy Buchanan/PA Wire | JPIMedia

“The outcome of the meeting is being confirmed tonight across all four nations and the Prime Minister has, of course, just made a television address.

“I wanted to take the opportunity to set out clearly and unequivocally what this means for Scotland.

“Some of what I am about to outline has already been advised in Scotland either yesterday or today but I want to ensure that the latest position is set out clearly and comprehensively so you the public know exactly what is now being expected of you.

“Let me be blunt, the stringent restrictions on our normal day to day lives that I am about to set out are difficult and they are unprecedented.

“They amount effectively to what has been described as a lockdown.

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“I know how difficult all of that is and I am not going to seek to sugarcoat it in any way, but these measures are essential for the protection of all of us.

“Coronavirus is the biggest challenge of our lifetimes and the measures we take to tackle it must reflect the magnitude of that.

“These measures are essential to slow down the spread of this virus, they are essential to reduce peak impact of it, they are essential to prevent our National Health Service being overwhelmed so that it can continue to provide treatment to all of those who need it and they are, quite bluntly, essential to save lives.

“So I ask you not to think that any of this is being done lightly, it is absolutely not. This is for the protection of each and every one of us.

“So what I am telling people across Scotland that they now must do to help us fight this virus is stay at home.

“That is the clear message I gave yesterday and I am reinforcing that message now.

“From tonight the only permissible reasons to leave your home are as follows;

“Firstly, to shop for basic necessities and I am asking that you should limit that to once a day.

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“Second, to take exercise again once a day but to do so alone or with your own household, not in groups.

“Third, for medical reasons or to care for a vulnerable person, and fourthly to travel to essential work if that work cannot be done at home.

“As I said earlier today we will be issuing further guidance to employers to help them judge what is and what is not essential and of course support is in place for businesses and their employees and more I hope will be put in place for those who are self employed.

“But apart from those restricted reasons the advice is clear, it is strong, and it is firm, you must stay at home.

“To support this and to help ensure compliance, the following will now be required.

“Firstly, as I said earlier, all non essential shops and retail outlets being required to close.

“Libraries, communal places within parks and places of worship with the exceptions of funerals which I will come back to in a moment must close too.

“We will publish shortly an indicative and illustrative list of affected premises.

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“Secondly, social events must not take place, that includes weddings and christenings, the exception is funerals but we are asking in what is undoubtedly the hardest thing I will say tonight that they are restricted to immediate family only.

“Thirdly, gatherings of more than two people in public will be prohibited unless it is part of a household or related to essential and I stress essential work.

“All of this we intend to make effect immediately and make no mistake, I know how hard this is but I want to repeat that this is essential and my duty to you is that I cannot shy away from telling you that and seeking your compliance.“Which takes me to the issue of enforcement. As I said yesterday, I want people to think of this not as guidance or advice but as a set of rules to be followed. To be followed for the protection of yourself, your loved ones, your community and our national health service.

“I fully expect that the vast majority of people will do the right thing and I thank you in advance for that, however later this week emergency legislation will give us powers of enforcement and we will use those powers of enforcement if that is necessary.

“It is no exaggeration to say that lives depend on all of us complying with these requirements.

“Between now and these powers being in place, if the police find people or premises flouting these rules they will give strong advice to people to cease and do the right thing but within days they will be able to follow that up with enforcement which is likely to take the form of fines.

“But let me be clear, I really hope and expect that the issue of enforcement will never be more than an academic one.

“I hope and expect that everyone will understand that complying with these rules is in the interest of all of us.

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“I spoke a couple of days ago about the importance of all of us looking out for each other and this is a vital part of how we do that.

“If we do all of these things, if all of us do all of these things, if we all agree, however difficult, to restrict our lives for a period, then many fewer of us will die of this virus than would otherwise be the case.

“That means many more of us will come through this and out the other side of it and perhaps do so more quickly to resume the freedoms and the lifestyles that we have for so long cherished and taken for granted.

“I said a few days ago that this crisis was reminding us all of the fragility of life and the world we live in but that it was also reminding us of what matters most, health, love and solidarity.

“So let's all do what we are being asked to do now to protect our own health and that of others and show love and solidarity for our fellow citizens.”



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