A ban on visiting other people’s homes is to be imposed across Scotland from Wednesday 23rd September in a bid to get the Covid-19 virus under control again before the winter, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.
Scotland will also be following England in imposing a 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants.The curfew will be in place from Friday – with a warning that any premises that do not comply could be shut down completely.
The number of people testing positive for the virus is increasing with the average number of new cases every day now reaching 285, compared to only seven a day in July. An increase in the percentage of tests coming back positive has also been seen. In late August, that percentage was consistently below 1%. Today it is over 7%. The R number is above 1 again, possibly as high as 1.4.
The new restrictions aim to prevent the virus spreading unchecked; the scientific advice is that household interaction is a “key driver” of transmission.
There will be exceptions for those living alone, or alone with children, who form extended households.The rules will also not apply to couples who do not live together, or to tradespeople or for the provision of informal childcare – such as by grandparents.
Meetings in public indoor settings – such as pubs and restaurants – will continue to be limited to a maximum of six people from two households.
Up to six people from two different households can continue to meet outdoors, including in private gardens.
However, children under the age of 12 will be exempt from both the limit of six and the limit of two households if they are meeting outside. And young people aged between 12 to 18 will be exempt from the two household limit – so will be able to meet outdoors in groups of up to six.