Covid: To close pubs and restaurants in Central Scotland

Covid: To close pubs and restaurants in Central Scotland

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Media captionsNikola has announced stricter restrictions for Sturgeon pubs and restaurants

All Scotland and restaurants between New Scotland will have to close in order to deal with the increase in coronavirus cases.

The new rules apply to licensed premises across the Central Belt, including Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Pubs and restaurants will be able to open in other parts of Scotland – but can only supply alcohol outside.

The new rules, which will be effective from 18:00 on Friday to Friday 25 October, apply to about 3.4 million people.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the sanctions were intended to take short, drastic steps to arrest a worrying increase in infections.

He warned that without action the country “risks returning to the peak of infection by the end of the month”.

He acknowledged, however, that the new rules would be a hindrance to many businesses and unnecessary to many.

The Scottish Hospitality Group, which includes many of the country’s leading pubs and restaurants, accused the first minister of “effectively signing the death penalty” for many businesses.

And the Federation of Small Business said the move would have an impact on other parts of the economy, including tourism.

Opposition parties have stated they will not run in the by-elections, but will seek further details on the 40 million support package announced by Ms Sturgeon and question the need to close blankets at pubs and restaurants.

Restrictions for the Central Belt residing in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Fourth Valley, Lothian and Ayrshire and Aran Health Board areas.

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In these areas, all licensed premises, except for residents’ hotels, must be closed inside and outside the home, although passengers will be allowed.

Cafes that do not have an alcohol license will be open until 18:00.

Snooker and pool halls, indoor bowling alleys, casinos and bingo halls will be closed in five health board areas for two weeks from October 10.

And contact sports for people 18 and older will be suspended for the next two weeks – with the exception of professional sports.

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Beer gardens outside the central belt will be able to supply alcohol until 22:00

Indoor group practice activities will not be allowed, although current rules will be for those under 18 and gyms may be open to individual practice.

Outdoor live events will not be allowed in any of the five regions for the next 15 days.

There will be no travel bans in any region, but people in the central belt are urged to avoid public transport unless it is “absolutely necessary”.

And if they are not advised that they cannot travel outside of the health board where they live unless they need to.

Throughout the epidemic, Scotland has taken a slightly more cautious approach than England.

It has imposed more restrictions and generally removed them more slowly. The latest move is consistent with that trend.

There is little difference in the overall infection rate. Scotland saw 85 cases per 100,000 last week, compared to England’s 109.

The measures imposed by the Scottish Government focus on the areas with the highest infection rates.

But those places are a bit below the level seen in England’s hotspots.

Cities like Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle saw about 500 cases per 100,000 people last week – more than double the level of infection in Glasgow, for example.

The differences between the two countries, however, should not overshadow the growing concern about the rate of infection, especially in England in the north of the country.

Senior ministers and their advisers are discussing today whether additional action is needed south of the border.

The act of suppressing the problem virus also has negative consequences.

This is seen in the growing number of scientists and health experts who are signing the Great Barrington Declaration on the Impact of the Coved Lockdown Policies.

In other parts of the country, pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes will be able to keep indoors open until 18:00 – but can only provide food and alcoholic beverages.

However, they will be able to supply alcohol in outdoor settings such as beer gardens until 22:00, under the current rule no more than six people from two families will be accommodated.

And existing rules will continue to apply to already booked weddings and funerals in all regions of Scotland.

For the first time, Scotland has recorded more than a thousand new confirmed cases of the virus in a single day – although the country is now experimenting much more than at the height of the epidemic at the beginning of the year.

When he announced the new rules in the Scottish Parliament, Messrs. Sturgeon said that “huge numbers of pubs” had worked hard to ensure the safety of their staff and customers.

However, he added: “The internal environment, where different families of different ages can mix, inevitably creates a risk of infection.

“If good ventilation is difficult and if human movement is difficult to control, this risk can be increased in some hospitality premises.

“And the presence of alcohol can certainly affect people’s interest in physical distance.”

Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservative group, demanded in more detail what business assistance would be provided, saying “many are running empty.”

And Scottish labor leader Richard Leonard said the government should look for places that break the rules “instead of shutting down every business”.

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About the Author: Forrest Morton

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