Scotland’s new Covid alert system will be as close to the rest of the UK as possible, said First Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
While Boris Johnson was ready to unveil new Covid alert levels for different parts of England, the Prime Minister said a similar grading system would be introduced in Scotland after the end of a two-week local lockdown.
At this stage, the idea is that the only Merseyside in England is to implement a strict “extremely high risk” Level-3 system – which means pubs and bars have to be closed.
People in central Scotland are already in a similarly dire situation last Friday across five health board areas from coast to coast.
The advice against unnecessary travel raised fears that Scottish families planning to travel to Blackpool in north-west England on Friday October would find the area in the same harsh lockdown.
Speaking at his daily coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh on Monday, Sturgeon said the measures would go to the Scottish Parliament for approval after the October break.
He appeared at the press conference directly after the crisis meeting with the prime minister, other leaders and regional mayors to discuss the new precautionary measures.
Sturgeon said: “At the strategic level, we will look at aligning the UK as closely as possible with other countries – I think it’s important and it’s wise for us to try to do that.
“However, I would emphasize that operational decisions about which part of our countries can apply to which levels to take a confusing stage for each of us.”
The first minister reiterated that other measures would be taken in addition to the new tiered warning system.
These include rebuilding the testing technique, expanding facial coverage rules, and strengthening adherence to public health guidelines, especially around self-isolation.
The new warning system will be placed in one of three levels depending on how bad the virus is in each region of England.
The new system will be called the local Covid alert level, so no traffic lights are likely to be compatible.
Instead of the green ‘low-risk’ option, layers will be labeled ‘Medium’, ‘High’ or ‘Too High’ which is expected to be labeled with the top level who may face strict lockdown rules who can go to families and pubs And the bars are closing.
Ahead of Johnson’s announcement, a top government medical official warned that hospital deaths from the coronavirus would increase as cases escalated in the coming weeks.
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam presented the latest grim statistics at a Downing Street briefing, revealing “marked pickups” in cases since the beginning of September after the “flat” summer.
He was identified and warned that the delay in being hospitalized or dying meant that additional deaths would be “baked” in the coming weeks.
The UK’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer also revealed that the virus spread most rapidly among young people but there was “growing crawling” among the elderly – who were most at risk.
The pattern of spreading from young to old was first observed in the north-west and northeast of England where the level of infection is high and is not being repeated in other parts of the country.
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