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Coronavirus Scotland: Nicola Sturgeon was rocked by a lockdown game


Nicola Sturgeon is furious about her plans for a five-tier lockdown system that is said to be even tougher than Boris Johnson's – since her advisors warn the idea of ​​a family Christmas is "fiction".

The Prime Minister was hit by a wave of anger after it was revealed she would like to take a tougher approach than the Prime Minister, with more curbs to help fight the pandemic.

In yet another hard line sign north of the border, their clinical director has effectively told Scots to cancel their festive arrangements and say gatherings must be "digital".

Details of the new system will be announced tomorrow, with the highest bracket possibly condemning large areas to a March-style squeeze. It will raise concerns that England may find itself in a similar position to what has often been the case in previous stages of the crisis.

But pubs, restaurants and retailers are already alarmed that they are facing a disastrous winter, with dire predictions that two-thirds of hotel businesses could close.

The licensed trade said companies had been "kept in the dark" because of the new wave of regulations, warning that the sector was "staring into the abyss" and that thousands of jobs were at risk.

Paul Waterson of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association warned, “Hundreds of businesses are facing permanent shutdowns and thousands of jobs will be lost – the damage could be irreparable.

& # 39; We estimate that two thirds of hotel operations could be mothballed or perish in the coming months. Over 50 percent of jobs in the pub and bar area could also be lost. & # 39;

In other coronavirus developments today;

  • Rishi Sunak is set to announce yet another bailout today, indicating the bankruptcy of thousands of bars and restaurants in the second tier restricted areas.
  • Shocking official figures today show that 17 percent of companies in the lodging and catering industry are at “severe” risk of bankruptcy.
  • South Yorkshire has agreed to move into tier three starting Saturday, which means 7.3 million in England will live under the strictest Covid rules.
  • The talks to classify Nottinghamshire in the "very high risk" category are nearing completion.
  • Boris Johnson tried to bypass Andy Burnham by offering £ 60million coronavirus aid directly to local councils in Greater Manchester.
  • Economists warned that lockdowns were killing even more people than they "could possibly save";
  • Labor's Angela Rayner apologized after calling a Tory MP "scum" during a Covid-19 debate.
  • 191 more coronavirus deaths were reported yesterday, with daily cases hitting a record 26,688;
  • Hospitals have increased the cancellation of routine surgeries and non-Covid appointments as the number of viruses has increased.
  • Scotland Yard agreed to withdraw a letter asking pubs and restaurants to sniff out their customers.
  • Prince William spoke of the "unimaginable challenges" cancer patients face due to the coronavirus.
  • National debt has risen to its highest level in 60 years.
  • An important report warned that Covid-19 cannot be used as an excuse for delaying welfare reform.

Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaks at a press conference in Edinburgh yesterday

The Prime Minister was hit by a wave of anger after it was revealed she would like to take a tougher approach than the Prime Minister, with more curbs to help fight the pandemic

Shoppers walk down Princes Street yesterday, which is Edinburgh's main shopping district

Shoppers walk down Princes Street yesterday, which is Edinburgh's main shopping district

Questions and Answers on Scotland's Coronavirus Lockdown

I live in the Central Belt, which is currently the most restricted in Scotland. Will we be placed in the top tier when the new system is introduced?

It is expected that according to the current proposals, no areas will initially be classified in the top, fifth level. Instead, areas with the most stringent restrictions currently in place are likely to be upgraded to Tier 4 when the system goes into effect on November 2nd. This could include a continuation of the current restrictions, such as the closure of licensed premises.

Our children missed a lot of school towards the end of the last school year because of the Covid-19 lockdown. Could the schools close again?

Nicola Sturgeon has stated that her "standard" position is to keep schools open during future closures, highlighting other countries that have kept the education system running even during the total closure. Under the new tier system, schools should not automatically close even if the local area reaches the top alert. It is believed that a "judgment" will be made on a case-by-case basis as to whether or not students are sent home.

Are there levels where life becomes normal again?

Yes, below Tier Zero, life is expected to resemble normal before the pandemic.

Are the stages implemented at the health department or local authority level?

It is understood that the restrictions will be set by the community area rather than the health department, as is the case with the current restrictions.

What are the rules for areas at the highest level?

Those living in an area subject to the top tier restrictions would face restrictions almost as severe as the full lockdown that was imposed across the UK in March when people were told to stay at home, and there were strict travel restrictions.

What do the three middle levels contain?

These are intended to largely reflect the English system. It is expected that the “rule of six” applies in the second stage, which means that people can only socialize indoors or outdoors in groups of six adults from a maximum of two households. The rule applies to pubs and restaurants, where customers are required to wear face covers indoors even when they are not eating or drinking. In the next stage, Scots should not make contact with people outside their household or an extended household indoors. The rule of six still applies to socializing outdoors.

In the fourth stage, it is expected that people will be forbidden to come into contact, indoors or outdoors, with someone they do not live with or with whom they have not established an extended household.

The First Minister also declined to rule out school closings in badly affected areas, saying that blended learning could be reintroduced in extreme circumstances.

It came as Scotland had its deadliest day since May. 28 Covid-19-related deaths were recorded within 24 hours.

Another 1,739 people tested positive and 49 patients were hospitalized. 73 people are currently living in intensive care units across the country.

The new five-tier system is due to be introduced on November 2nd.

Ms. Sturgeon said the current restrictions on pubs and restaurants will remain in place until then.

She has already indicated that the three intermediate tiers will be broadly similar to the new system in England – where areas are classified as either “medium”, “high” or “very high”.

However, in Scotland there will also be a lower level for areas with fewer cases of Covid-19 and the clinical director, Prof. Jason Leitch, stated that travel restrictions are being put in place to prevent people from higher classes from entering these areas pull.

In areas of the lowest tier, people have "a little more freedom than in other parts of the country".

In contrast, Prof. Leitch said that areas at the highest level would be subject to a "fuller" closure, although the schools would remain "as open as possible".

The new system is not expected to go into effect until November 2nd, replacing the temporary hospitality restrictions that were extended on Wednesday for an additional week to that date.

Professor Leitch spoke on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland program on Thursday that advisors are currently working on which levels should be applied in different areas.

He said, "We will give advice and then the decision makers will make those decisions over the weekend and into the next week."

He explained that a five-tier system in Scotland is preferred to the three-tier system in England because "we think that as a consultant you need to have everything in your toolbox".

He added: “You have to have the low end because if you were an area in Scotland with very low prevalence you might have a little more freedom than other parts of the country.

“Then there is the middle one… something like what we're in right now in different parts of the country.

"But we think you need something in your toolbox that says you have the option of a wider, unfortunate lockdown if they don't work in time to protect the National Health Service and protect people from the disease."

Prof. Leitch also warned urgently that hopes for a family Christmas this year were "fiction".

He said, “Christmas is not going to be normal, there is absolutely no question about that.

“We're not going to have large family groups with multiple families, that's fiction for this year.

“I am confident that if we can bring the numbers down to a certain level, we can possibly achieve some form of normalcy.

"People should get their digital Christmas ready."

Get Ready for Christmas by ZOOM: Scotland's Top Paramedic Warns the family's hopes for a big celebratory gathering this year are a fiction.

The family's hopes for a big Christmas reunion are a fiction, and families should prepare to watch loved ones via Zoom, Scotland's top paramedic warned today.

National Clinical Director Professor Jason Leitch (below) said he was confident that by adhering to strict restrictions during the celebratory hiatus, Scots could enjoy "some form of normalcy".

He knew, however, that people shouldn't expect large multi-household gatherings this year.

He told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland program: “Christmas is not going to be normal, there is absolutely no question about that.

“We're not going to have large family groups with multiple families, that's fiction for this year.

“I am confident that if we can bring the numbers down to a certain level, we can possibly achieve some form of normalcy.

"People should get their digital Christmas ready."

Scottish Liberal Democrats leader Willie Rennie said that after months of huge sacrifices, Scots "will be devastated to hear that Christmas as they know it will be canceled".

He said: “Many will rightly question whether the government has used the last six months and may need to expand testing, sustain our NHS and prepare for a second wave.

"If the government expects more casualties for months, the government must be honest with the public. Nicola Sturgeon must publish the data and projections on which these proposals are based and allow the public to discuss them openly."

According to the executives, they had been assured that the First Minister would "remain as closely linked as possible with the rest of the UK".

However, her comments yesterday indicated that she is ready to impose far stricter restrictions than in England.

During her Covid briefing yesterday, Miss Sturgeon said, “Let me explain the logic for the five levels that I think are very strong.

& # 39; The middle three levels will broadly correspond to the three levels in England which they describe as medium, high and very high.

“We think we need one at the bottom. This is the level we would strive for on this site in order to get a vaccine that is as close as possible to the normal that we can reasonably expect.

“We think it's important to have this until we all know what we're working towards. We also think we need one more (level) at the top. & # 39;

Miss Sturgeon said that when Mr Johnson released his animal system, his chief medical officer said the top level was "not enough to absolutely eliminate the virus at all costs."

She said Scotland's top tier would be closer to the "total lockdown" imposed across the country in March, but at the local level.

Miss Sturgeon signaled that the top tier schools would remain open, but depending on the circumstances, "a transition to blended learning may be needed in some community areas".

The highest level in England includes a ban on contact with other households indoors and outdoors.

Pubs and bars are closed unless they are used as restaurants. Alcohol is only served alongside a substantial meal.

Last night the Scottish Beer and Pub Association picked up on Miss Sturgeon's plans.

A spokesman said: “Companies that are now completely in the dark are very concerned about when they may be able to reopen.

“We don't know how many levels there will be, which restrictions will exist in the individual levels or which areas will be in which levels.

"The shutdown was supposed to be temporary, but today's announcement and the potential for further restrictions have left trade staring into the abyss."

A recent study found that nearly 40 percent of hotel companies are considering closing.

In the meantime, retailers are calling for clarity on the five-tier system as the holiday season approaches.

Two young men sit on a park bench in Edinburgh yesterday as the pandemic continues

Two young men sit on a park bench in Edinburgh yesterday as the pandemic continues

A little girl ran past a sign outside a building on Cockburn Street in Edinburgh yesterday

A little girl ran past a sign outside a building on Cockburn Street in Edinburgh yesterday

David Lonsdale, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: "We have consistently called for more transparency and clarity about possible next steps when it comes to future Covid restrictions, especially in the run-up to the critical Christmas trading period."

Brian Whittle, Scottish Tory health spokesperson, said, “Corporations can't go through another confusing SNP debacle like what they still face, what a cafe and what a restaurant is.

"Any confusion would only make it more difficult for people and businesses to do their part in suppressing the virus."

Miss Sturgeon will tomorrow provide details of financial support to the affected companies over the coming months.

She said this was "broadly similar" to what the UK government was offering south of the border.

Miss Sturgeon added that she was urgently trying to speak to the UK Treasury to improve the spending packages.

Pubs are about to take their last orders: entrepreneurs feel cheated because of the devastating extension of the week

Pubs, bars and restaurants have warned the consequences will be "devastating" after Nicola Sturgeon extended Scotland's two-week breaker.

The hospitality sector yesterday claimed it was "betrayed" by the Prime Minister after she "withdrew" her word on the restrictions.

Current measures were due to end on Monday, but Miss Sturgeon said she made the "tough" decision to extend them until November 2nd.

"We did everything you asked … and we have yet to close."

James Gulter, 40, and his wife Ioana, 34, run The Hermitage in Edinburgh's Morningside area and the Spylaw Bar in Colinton.

Due to the pandemic lockdown measures, they had to cut six jobs from their 28 employees.

Mr Gulter said he believed that the Scottish government's actions to allow hairdressers, shops and unlicensed cafes to continue to trade were wrongly targeting the hospitality sector.

James Gulter, 40, and his wife Ioana, 34, run The Hermitage in Edinburgh's Morningside neighborhood and the Spylaw Bar in Colinton

James Gulter, 40, and his wife Ioana, 34, run The Hermitage in Edinburgh's Morningside area and the Spylaw Bar in Colinton

He said, “It's really frustrating and annoying. The hospitality sector has been treated very badly throughout the pandemic.

“Another week won't stick us in the coffin because we have savings, but we haven't been told what's going to happen next week so we can't plan.

“December is our biggest month, so we need to know what's coming. We're likely to lose office parties and large bookings before Christmas, so we're hoping to offer premium service to smaller groups.

“But who knows, because every announcement comes with a zero warning. It means we had a lot of unnecessary waste with food and beer supplies. & # 39;

The couple took over the Hermitage in 2014 and the bigger sister pub Spylaw in January 2019. Once the UK Government's vacation program ends, the couple will have to pay a higher percentage of their employees' wages.

The couple took over the Hermitage in Edinburgh's Morningside area in 2014

The couple took over the Hermitage in Edinburgh's Morningside area in 2014

Mr Gulter said both pubs have put in place all necessary social distancing and track and trace measures.

He said, 'The customer feedback was that they feel safe. We did everything we were asked to and still said we should close. If the Scottish Government knows something we don't know, they have to tell us. & # 39;

This means that all licensed premises, with the exception of the cafes in the Central Belt, must remain closed for another week.

Other restrictions such as bans on indoor fitness classes and adult contact sports also remain in place in the five areas of the health department – including Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Lothian.

In other parts of Scotland, restaurants and pubs can stay open between 6am and 6pm. However, alcohol may only be served outdoors until 10 p.m.

Emma McClarkin, executive director of the Scottish Beer and Pub Association, said: “This news is absolutely devastating to the sector.

"We have been told these measures should be 'brief' and 'sharp' but now the Scottish Government has resorted to them and the operators feel they have been betrayed.

& # 39; The expansion of economic support is to be welcomed but in no way offsets the loss of income from another week that is completely closed. Commerce is now feeling even more disappointed with the government and unfairly targeted by measures that are costing jobs and livelihoods.

& # 39; Scotland's pubs and bars have repeatedly been subjected to some of the world's most punishing restrictions, but without the evidence to back it up. The situation cannot go on. & # 39;

At her briefing yesterday, Miss Sturgeon said she had agreed with her cabinet to extend the short-term restrictions to ensure a "smooth transition" to the new five-tier system, which will go into effect November 2nd.

When she announced the extension, she said, “I know that all of this is really undesirable and I know that these restrictions are severe.

“They are financially tough for many individuals and companies, and they are emotionally tough for all of us.

"Let me reiterate that none of these decisions are taken lightly. The point here is to minimize the damage to health that this virus can cause."

But business leaders were thrilled when Liz Cameron, of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said the hospitality sector was "utterly devastated as restrictions are now in place indefinitely".

She said: “We were warned that temporary restrictions would help reduce the spread of the virus. Now the temporary restrictions that make it impossible for companies to rebuild and protect jobs have been expanded.

& # 39; This short-term reactive approach is no longer enough. Where is the plan that we can all support to help the Scottish Government both deal with the virus and ensure the economy gets back to health too? & # 39;

Joe Crawford, campaign spokesman for real ale, said the announcement was a hammer blow to pubs and breweries "who feel they are being offered as sacrificial lamb without sufficient evidence".

Last night, following Miss Sturgeon's announcement, hospitality managers launched a campaign to save our jobs.

The Scottish and UK Governments are calling for assistance to ensure that up to 100,000 bars and restaurant jobs across the country are not lost when the vacation program ends on October 31st.

Michelin-starred Chef Tom Kitchin, the head of Signature Group, Nic Wood – head of one of Scotland's largest pub groups – and other hospitality chefs and employees have joined the campaign.

Mr Kitchin said, “Our industry is in desperate need of help, especially after only partially recovering from the initial lockdown.

"Eliminating the risks of the virus is our greatest concern, but there needs to be a balance for Scotland's hospitality future."

Mr. Wood hopes the campaign will highlight the plight of the young hospitality workforce, who employ 50 percent of all employees between the ages of 16 and 24.

The Scottish government has made £ 40 million available to affected companies during the original 16-day lock-up period, and Miss Sturgeon said this would be "proportionally" extended.

Research shows the industry has spent around £ 15 million on training and implementing social distancing measures across the sector to reopen businesses and restore consumer confidence.

However, a large number of licensed premises have not reopened at all since March as they would not be profitable due to a reduction in their capacity to comply with social distancing regulations.

Things are not getting any easier, mates: EUAN McCOLM watches as Nicola Sturgeon delivers her update

I'm not complaining, ”Nicola Sturgeon said, although it sounded a lot like her. During yesterday's update on the Scottish government's handling of the pandemic, the Prime Minister said she would provide details of a five-step lockdown plan tomorrow.

Should the MSP support this proposal, it would come into effect on November 2nd.

When interviewed by journalists, Sturgeon sounded rather sensitive. She'd take a flight here, she said, and bet that if she'd decided on a four-tier system, someone would have asked if it was too complicated. If, on the other hand, she had opted for a three-tier system, someone would have asked if that was not enough.

At that point, the First Minister insisted that she not complain. Anyone who listened would have been forgiven to think that they not only complained but also complained about things that hadn't happened.

But then, in interfering language, the simple refusal of evidence is enough for the First Minister to believe that it just doesn't exist. Yesterday it was denied that she was complaining while complaining.

A few days ago, she insisted that she had suspended the independence campaign while dealing with Covid-19, although barely a minute of a day goes by without the SNP press office or one of Sturgeon's furiously excited colleagues demanding a second that the independence referendum gets a green Light.

The big news from yesterday's first ministerial meeting was that the two weeks of restrictions we are currently living under are set to become three weeks of restrictions.

Before you get your hopes up and imagine that we may return to the Sanctuary of the Pub after this extra week is up, I should warn you that this extra week has been set up for the First Minister to seek the MSP's approval for a new series of restrictions.

I fear that the restrictions will be temporarily extended so that they can be extended even longer.

The First Minister did not specifically say so. She said it was important to be clear at this point that her government could not rule out further expanding existing restrictions or imposing stricter restrictions on all or part of the country.

You don't have to be a crack code breaker to decrypt this message. Things, pals, aren't getting any easier anytime soon.

Sturgeon rarely has a good word to say about members of any political party other than the SNP (with the exception of their budgies in the Scottish Greens, of course), but she backed Andy Burnham, the Labor Mayor of Manchester who is currently at war with the British government over financial support for his region.

As the saying goes, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend," and Burnham neatly falls into that category (remember, Labor politicians are only Red Tories if they have the audacity to go to Scotland for elections).

Previously, Sturgeon was keen to differentiate the response to coronavirus in Scotland from the response across England. But now she sees allies where enemies used to be.

I'm going to take a flight here and say that if the Mayor of Manchester had been a member of the Conservative Party, Sturgeon would have found a way to attack his current position. Before anyone offends this suggestion, let me be clear: I am not complaining.

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