// Scotland lockdown measures extended until mid-February
// All non-essential shops, pubs, cafes, bars, gyms and hairdressers will remain closed until then
// Non-essential retailers trading across Scotland have also been ordered to suspend click-and-collect services
Lockdown restrictions are to be extended until at least the middle of February in Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.
Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament that Covid-19 case numbers have “stabilised and even declined”.
However, she said any relaxation of lockdown while cases remain high could “quickly send the situation into reverse”.
- Large retailers in Northern Ireland urged to stop selling non-essential goods
- Non-essential click-and-collect banned amid tougher Covid restrictions in Scotland
- Wales introduces stricter Covid restrictions for supermarkets
As a result, Scotland is to remain in lockdown until at least the middle of February, with non-essential retailers to remain shut until then.
Schools will also remain closed to the majority of pupils.
The situation will be reviewed on February 2.
Mainland Scotland was placed into lockdown on January 4 to tackle the rising spread of the new coronavirus strain.
The measures include a legally-enforceable stay-at-home order.
All non-essential shops, pubs, cafes, bars, gyms and hairdressers are closed and travel restrictions prevent anyone leavening their local authority area, with limited exceptions.
Non-essential retailers trading across Scotland have also been ordered to suspend click-and-collect services.
The First Minister also told MSPs that Barra and Vatersay in the Western Isles will move from Level 3 of restrictions to Level 4 – the same lockdown tier as the mainland – at midnight tonight.
This is due to a “significant outbreak” of Covid on the island.
Giving an update on vaccination numbers, Sturgeon said that, assuming vaccine supplies meet expectations, Scotland would be “on track to be vaccinating 400,000 people a week by the end of February”.
Lockdown measures that enforce the closure of non-essential retail in other UK countries are also set to continue until at least February.
In Wales, the lockdown is due to be reviewed at this month, but the Welsh Government has already stated that it did not see “much headroom for change”.
The situation is similar in Northern Ireland, where the national lockdown is due to end on February 6 and Health Minister Robin Swann previously warning that restrictions were “highly unlikely” to be eased.
Meanwhile, England’s lockdown laws end on March 31.
However, the government has previously said it hoped to ease some restrictions during March.
When England’s third national lockdown came into force earlier this month, it did so after the other countries has already implemented their own lockdowns at different dates prior to it.
Nonetheless, the current restrictions mark the first time the whole of the UK has been forced into lockdown last spring.
with PA Wires