Scotland goes again into lockdown as the brand new variant of the virus good points a foothold.

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Citing a steep enhance in coronavirus circumstances and strain on the National Health Service, Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, introduced a brand new lockdown on Monday that may final till a minimum of the top of January.

She mentioned the brand new guidelines hew carefully to the lockdown that was undertaken in March, and have been essential to include the virus as vaccine distribution plans get underway.

People have been ordered to remain home starting at midnight apart from important causes, resembling for caregiving tasks or train. Most college students will transfer to distant studying till a minimum of February. Beginning Friday, homes of worship will shut, with exceptions for weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and funerals.

The new variant of the coronavirus accounts for nearly half of latest infections in Scotland, Ms. Sturgeon mentioned in Parliament, including that the nation recorded 1,905 new circumstances on Monday. She mentioned that Scotland was about 4 weeks behind the speedy acceleration that’s being seen in London due to the variant.

“It is no exaggeration to say that I am more concerned about the situation we face now than I have been at any time since March last year,” Ms. Sturgeon mentioned.

The new guidelines will apply to all areas of Scotland at present underneath Level four restrictions, which is all of mainland Scotland. The authorities mentioned that island areas in Level three will stay in that decrease designation.

At the identical time, a mass vaccination marketing campaign is making headway. More than 100,000 individuals in Scotland have gotten their first vaccine dose, Ms. Sturgeon mentioned.

“There have been two significant game changers in our fight against this virus,” Ms. Sturgeon informed lawmakers. “One, the approval of vaccines, is hugely positive and offers us the way out of this pandemic. But the other — the new, faster-spreading variant of the virus — is a massive blow.”

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