Nicola Starzan could hit Scotland tomorrow with new lockdown restrictions as she faces the “toughest” decision.
The first minister said that a coronavirus clampdown could be needed in the “hotspot” area which could cause pubs and restaurants to be hit.
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The Scottish cabinet has discussed a ‘circuit breaker’ to spread the deadly bug
However, Ms Starjan made it clear that she would not “shut down the whole economy” or “stop rebuilding the NHS”.
Schools will also be open and Scots will not be asked to stay in their homes.
The SNP chief is now considering “what additional targeted measures we can take over the next few weeks, in addition to the current household restrictions, to increase this spread.”
The Scottish Sun revealed today that the circuit-breaker – which has been in place for two weeks – could arrive as early as tomorrow.
None of this is easy. In many ways this is actually the most complex decision point.
He added: “None of this is easy. In many ways it is still the most complex decision.
“When we reversed the decisions in March, when the focus was only on locking up the virus, nothing of economic or social harm was done.
“We have all of that to consider now, so these decisions need to be balanced very carefully.”
He will make a statement to the Scottish Parliament tomorrow outlining any new steps.
Earlier in the day, the first minister said that the ministers wanted to give the public some insight into how they were “jumping on the bandwagon” as they tried to infect the virus.
He said additional restrictions were needed as his government took public health advice and that it was important to take action on and above existing restrictions.
He said Scotland was once again facing a “rapid growth rate of infection”, he said.
Two more coronavirus deaths were announced on Tuesday, bringing the total death toll to 2,532.
A total of three new cases have been recorded and 44 more people are in the hospital, while three more patients are in intensive care.
Ms Sturgeon said the mainland Scotland now had infection levels in most parts of the country – more than 50 per 100,000 people – local lockdown measures were withdrawn when about 20 out of 100,000 people in Aberdeen were infected.
“We are now starting to see the population starting from the youngest to the oldest,” he said.
“Again the number of hospital admissions and intensive care and sadly the number of dead people is also increasing.”
The first minister stressed: “The situation is not out of control, but it is a cause for concern.”
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When the ban on other people’s homes was announced two weeks ago, Ms Sturgeon said there were an average of 265 new cases a day – but she said it had now risen to 729.
“It shows you how the situation has accelerated in these two weeks as well,” he said.
In addition to considering new restrictions, ministers are looking at whether the issue needs to be addressed nationally or regionally “or both”.
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