Scotland Further Tightens COVID-19 Restrictions
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced Wednesday the government will tighten its lockdown measures, while stepping up its vaccination program in an effort to halt the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Speaking to Scotland’s parliament, Sturgeon said that so-called “click and collect” services — ordering items online and then picking them up at a retailer — would be restricted to only essential items.Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon attends the First Minister’s Questions at the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood, Edinburgh, Scotland, Jan. 13, 2021.She said food and drink orders must be delivered outside establishments or through service windows and doors. She said all the new restrictions will begin Saturday. Sturgeon also said, beginning Saturday, there will be a ban on outdoor consumption of alcohol in all areas of mainland Scotland. Currently, different areas have different laws regarding outdoor alcohol consumption. The first minister said she realized the move will not be popular, but added that “it is intended to underline and support the fact that we should only be leaving home just now for essential purposes.” FILE – Lucy Airs receives a dose of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine from Ruth Davies, a practice nurse, at the Pentland Medical Practice, in Currie, Scotland, Jan. 7, 2021.Sturgeon said the vaccination program is progressing on schedule with nearly 192,000 people receiving their first doses of the vaccine. She said she expects everyone over the age of 80 to have received at least one dose by the end of January. She said the government aims to have everyone over 65 receive at least one dose by the end of February. Sturgeon reported there have been a total of 155,372 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Scotland since the pandemic began and a total of 5,102 deaths.