Nicola Sturgeon has admitted that banning Scots from visiting each other's homes is a "step backwards" but insisted that their tough lockdown keeps Covid from "getting out of hand".
The First Minister reached out to the nation after announcing a ban on indoor home visits and a curfew on pubs and restaurants.
It was part of a package of measures to try to prevent the coronavirus from spiraling out of control in Scotland.
Ms. Sturgeon said: “The past six months have been unprecedented. They were the toughest many of us have ever been through.
& # 39; But through our joint efforts across Scotland, we have fought back Covid. As a result, while too much heartbreak has been suffered and too many families are in mourning, many lives have been saved.
"But when we enter winter and many lockdown restrictions are thankfully lifted, the challenge will become more difficult again."
She added, “Well, for everyone, adults and children, I know that today must feel like a step backwards.
“But please know that thanks to all of your efforts over the past six months we are in a much stronger position than we were in the spring.
& # 39; Cases are increasing, but less rapidly than then. Our Test and Protect system works well – it tracks contacts and breaks chains of transmission.
& # 39; We have a lot more information on how and where the virus is spreading. We know what to do to protect ourselves and others – and we all play a role. & # 39;
The First Minister reached out to the nation after announcing a ban on indoor home visits and a curfew on pubs and restaurants
In addition to being banned from visiting others at their homes, she said there will be a "strict nationwide curfew" on pubs and restaurants from 10pm on Friday.
People are also advised not to share car trips with anyone outside their household.
The rules to enforce the changes will go into effect from Friday, but Ms. Sturgeon urged Scots to comply with them from Wednesday.
Some have questioned why pubs are still open when cases of the virus are spreading rapidly – 383 more people have tested positive in Scotland in the past 24 hours, with one more death.
However, the First Minister said the Scottish Government had a duty to balance measures to contain the virus with the need to protect businesses.
She had previously announced the ban on Scots being allowed to visit each other in their own four walls from tomorrow when she reintroduced the stricter lockdown rules.
She said a "high proportion" of new cases in the country are linked to transmission in private homes, where social distancing and ventilation are more difficult.
She spoke to MSPs in Holyrood minutes after Boris Johnson presented new lockdown measures in England.
The Prime Minister said a "high proportion" of new cases in the country are related to transmission in private homes, where social distancing and ventilation are more difficult than outdoors or in public buildings
She spoke to MSPs in Holyrood minutes after Boris Johnson unveiled new lockdown measures in England and said his steps had not gone far enough
She said his steps did not go far enough and her advice was that "lowering the R number north of the border will not be enough".
The First Minister said she hoped this was not the case as the action in Scotland could take up to six months.
She told MSPs: “Until scientific developments like a vaccine change the game in the fight against Covid-19, it will certainly have an impact on our lives.
“That doesn't necessarily mean that all of the new restrictions I announce today will last for six months.
"We hope that through early and substantial action, these new measures will be implemented for a shorter period of time than would be the case if we waited longer for action."
Single, non-cohabiting couples, child carers and tradespeople are excluded from the measures.
The changes only affect meetings in people's homes, with the same rules for outdoor and public indoor meetings.
However, the First Minister said that children under the age of 12 will be exempt from the six person limit from two households when meeting outdoors, and that children between the ages of 12 and 18 will be able to take six other people out of six Achieve outdoor households.
The new measures for Scotland will be reviewed every three weeks, said the First Minister.
Speaking to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh this afternoon, she admitted the changes "will not be welcome".
"Some will inevitably think that they are going too far, others that they will not go far enough," she said.
“But we have tried to strike the right balance – and now act urgently, substantially and preventively, to try to get the situation under control quickly.
“We are of the opinion that this gives us the best chance of avoiding tougher or longer-lasting measures later.
“But I know that doesn't make it any easier.
"A lot of people, myself included, will find it really difficult to have family and friends in our own four walls – especially when the weather gets colder."
Ms. Sturgeon said the new measures, while "tough", are "not a lockdown".
Confirmed coronavirus cases in Scotland have risen 383 in the past 24 hours, the Scottish government said before Ms Sturgeon spoke.
In Scotland, a total of 25,009 people have now tested positive for coronavirus. That is 7.6 percent of the newly tested people, compared to 6.3 percent on Monday.
A new confirmed patient death has been recorded and the death toll from this action is now 2,506.
Of the new cases, 181 are in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 92 in Lanarkshire and 51 in Lothian.
There are 73 people in the hospital who have been confirmed to have the virus, just as they did on Monday. Of these patients, 10 were in intensive care, an increase of two.
The First Minister specifically addressed young people and said, “I know how miserable this is for you and you have been so patient.
“We try to offer you as much flexibility as possible. In return, please work with us and do your best to keep the rules for everyone's sake. & # 39;
According to plans for England, a 10 p.m. curfew will be put in place for hospitality businesses in Scotland.
Ms Sturgeon said the Scottish government is striving for a balance between reducing the spread of the virus and safeguarding jobs in the industry.
Additional resources are also being made available to environmental health officials to step up enforcement and inspection, and ensure social distancing and other sanitary guidelines are followed.
Ms. Sturgeon said, "This decision today means we can reduce the time people can spend in licensed premises, which will reduce the spread of the virus and allow businesses to continue trading and creating jobs."
"This is the best balance for now."