Thursday, 24 Sep 2020

Ban on meeting indoors in Lanarkshire after 'concerning' rise in cases

New restrictions will take force in Lanarkshire in a matter of hours after an increase in coronavirus cases, the Scottish Government has announced.

Residents living in both the North and South Lanarkshire council areas will be banned from visiting other households from midnight.

The new rules were recommended by the National Incident Management Team after a total of 205 positive cases were discovered by Test and Protect in Lanarkshire in the last week.

It comes after lockdown restrictions in Glasgow, East Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire were continued for a further week on Monday, as the UK’s R Rate officially rises above 1.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: ‘It is clearly regrettable that these restrictions need to be extended to people living in Lanarkshire.

‘I understand that this will not be welcome news for people living in these areas, especially ahead of the weekend, but we must act now to protect people and get more control over the virus in the area.

‘Local public health teams have looked at where cases are being identified and, by restricting indoor meetings, we are helping to protect those who are most at risk from Covid-19 – as they are more likely to be meeting others in a household setting rather than in a public setting.

‘I would ask everyone in the affected areas to be extra vigilant, to follow all guidance and to isolate and book a test if they have any symptoms.

‘Above all, I want to emphasise that getting a test – and even getting a negative result – is not a substitute for self-isolating. If you have symptoms, or if you are contacted by our Test and Protect team and told to do so, you will need to self-isolate.’

Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihul were also hit with local lockdown restrictions earlier in the day, with a ban on households meeting in place from Tuesday.

The three hotspots are now on the Government’s list for ‘areas of national intervention’ after a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.

West Midlands mayor, Andy Street said: ‘The following areas will now be escalated to an area of national intervention, with a ban on people socialising with people outside their own household.

‘The ban will take effect from Tuesday 15th September, but residents are advised to avoid household mixing before then as it has been identified as one of the drivers of transmission.’

Liverpool has also been added to the Government’s coronavirus watchlist after a four-fold rise in confirmed cases in the last fortnight.

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