Scotland heads for new tiered system as virus restrictions extended
Scotland is bringing in a new tiered coronavirus system as restrictions in the country are extended for another week.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said details would be published on Friday and the measures implemented from 2 November.
Restrictions put in place two weeks ago on hospitality businesses had been due to end on 25 October.
The measures have also closed snooker and pool halls, indoor bowling centres, casinos and bingo halls in the central belt of the country.
People are also banned from visiting each other's homes unless they are part of an extended household.
The restrictions will stay in place until the new system comes in early next month.
A tiered system is currently in place in England, with different areas in one of three risk categories and subject to varying rules about what can stay open and who people can meet.
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Ms Sturgeon said that while there is "cautious optimism" the current restrictions were working, ministers were told by advisers that it would not be safe to lift the measures from Monday.
She added: "The extension allows us to transition more smoothly to the new levels system that we hope will be introduced on 2 November."
Ms Sturgeon said she understood the extension of measures was "harsh" financially and emotionally.
Speaking at the coronavirus update in Edinburgh, the first minister said: "I know all of this is really unwelcome and I know that these restrictions are harsh.
"They are harsh financially for many individuals and businesses, and they are harsh emotionally for all of us.
"I want to stress again that none of these decisions are being taken lightly – this is all about trying to save lives and minimise the health damage that we know this virus is capable of doing."
She said financial support would be extended to help businesses affected by the extension of restrictions.
The first minister said full details of the support would be published online, but that business support grants and top-ups for the furlough scheme will be extended.
She said businesses would receive "proportionally the same" amount of support in the extra week of restrictions as they did in the previousRead More – Source