NICOLA STURGEON has today EXTENDED Scotland’s lockdown into February.
The First Minister confirmed the tough Covid curbs will remain in place until “at least the middle of February”.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
Ms Sturgeon confirmed lockdown would be extended into FebruaryCredit: AFP or licensors
The decision comes after a Cabinet review this morning to discuss pandemic strategy.
Scots were initially plunged back into lockdown two weeks ago, and the latest announcement only extends the restrictions period, and does not change the rules set out previously.
Ms Sturgeon said: “We cannot afford to see the rate of infections start to rise again – which from such a high baseline, it could all too easily do if we start to interact more than we are doing just now.
“It is for all these reasons that the Cabinet decided this morning to maintain the restrictions which are currently in place.
“That means that the lockdown restrictions – including the strict stay at home requirement – will remain in place across mainland Scotland and some island communities until at least the middle of February.”
It means Scots will remain under a legal stay-at-home order, with £60 fines for anyone who breaches the rules.
Schools and nurseries will also stay closed until at lest the middle of February despite hopes children could return to education from February 1.
Scots will remain under a legal stay-at-home orderCredit: Alamy Live News
Ms Sturgeon said: “It is of course a priority for all of us to get children back to normal schooling as soon as possible.
“I know how much work teachers, school leaders and other staff are doing to support home learning and I am very grateful to them for that.
“But I also know just how challenging and stressful this situation is for families.
“And above all, I understand how difficult, distressing and damaging it is for children and young people to have their education and their normal interactions with friends so disrupted.
“However, our reluctant judgment is that community transmission of the virus is too high – and is likely to remain so for the next period – to allow a safe return to school on 1 February.
“The Cabinet decided today that – except for vulnerable and key worker children – school and nursery premises will remain closed until mid-February.”
Scots can only meet up in a group of a maximum of two people from different households outside.
Churches and places of worship will also remain closed except for weddings and funerals.
The Cabinet will review the lockdown restrictions again on February 2.
It comes as 1,165 new Scots Covid cases were recorded overnight and 71 deaths.
A total of 1,989 Scots are battling the bug in hospital with 150 in intensive care.
The latest coronavirus update also confirmed 284,582 Scots have received their first Covid jab, with 3,886 receiving their second dose.
We pay for your stories and videos! Do you have a story or video for The Scottish Sun? Email us at [email protected] or call 0141 420 5300