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coronavirus

New COVID-19 restrictions set to be announced this week, First Minister confirms

Nicola Sturgeon says new measures to tackle COVID-19 will be announced.

New restrictions to suppress and drive down the prevalence of COVID-19 in Scotland are set to be announced this week.

Nicola Sturgeon confirmed this in today’s daily briefing as cases of the virus continue to rise in Scotland and the UK.

It is not yet known what form or shape these restrictions will take but the First Minister said they were “very close” to a decision.

Ms Sturgeon says she hopes to update the Scottish Parliament within 48 hours to outline these new measures.

The collective efforts of the country since March in suppressing the virus ensures the country is in a stronger position than it might have otherwise been, Ms Sturgeon said.

However, as virus levels increase, “doing nothing in the face of this quite rapid spread is not an option”.

Over the last 24 hours, 255 people have tested positive for the virus, 6.3 per cent of those newly tested yesterday.

This takes the total number of positive cases in Scotland to 24,626.

Seventy-three people are in hospital and nine are in intensive care. There have been no new deaths.

Ms Sturgeon said: “We are preparing to introduce a package of additional measures with the intention of bringing the R number back below one.”

“Ideally, at least some of these decisions will be taken on a four-nation basis across the UK,” she added.

Some decisions will not be entirely identical but alignment does make sense.

She said: “The longer we wait to introduce new measures, the longer these measures are likely to be in place.

“If we move sharply now to get the virus back under control we can minimise the time we all spend under any new restrictions.”

Ms Sturgeon said she would be meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson today after her briefing.

She also said a new financial package to support those ordered to self-isolate will be announced later in the week.

“This is a serious moment for the country,” she stressed.

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