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SCOTLAND LOCKDOWN: Weddings off, restrictions on funerals and no gatherings of more than two people

Funerals will be restricted to immediate family members, weddings are being cancelled and gatherings of more than two people are being banned as Scotland is put into lockdown.

At a press conference in Edinburgh, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told Scots they will not be allowed to leave their homes unless absolutely necessary as the nation fights the spread of covid-19.

The SNP leader also asked people across the country to limit shopping trips to one per day as the new rules took effect on Monday night.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

It came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown – telling people they must stay in their homes or risk fines.

Brits will only be allowed out of their homes for essential shopping, one bit of exercise a day, for medical purposes or travelling to and from work if absolutely necessary.

Mrs Sturgeon said the measures were “difficult” and “unprecedented”, adding: “They amount to what has been described as a lockdown. I am not going to seek to sugarcoat it in anyway.

A visualisation of the Covid-19 virus.

“These measures are essential for the protection of all of us.

“Coronavirus is the biggest challenge of our lifetime and the measures we take to tackle it must reflect the magnitude of that. These measures are essential to slow down the spread of this virus. This is for the protection of each and every one of us.

“What I am telling people across Scotland that they now must do to help us fight this virus is stay at home. That is the clear message I gave yesterday and I am reinforcing that message now.

“From tonight the only permissible reasons to leave your home are as follows: firstly to shop for basic necessities and I am asking that you limit that to once a day.

“Second to exercise, again once a day alone or with your own household, again not in groups. Third: for medical reasons or to care for a vulnerable person. And fourthly to travel to essential work if that work cannot be done at home.”

She added: “Social events must not take place. That includes weddings and christenings. The exception is funerals. But we are asking, in what is undoubtedly the hardest thing I will say tonight, that they are restricted to immediate family only.

“Gatherings of more than two people will be prohibited unless it is part of a household or related to essential work.”

She said emergency powers will give police the ability to fine anyone caught breaking the rules.

On the issue of enforcement she said: “I want people to think of this not as guidance and advice but a set of rules to be followed. I fully expect that the vast majority of people will do the right thing and I thank you in advance for that.

“Emergency legislation will give us powers of enforcement and we will use those powers of enforcement if necessary. Lives depend on all of us complying with these requirements.

“Enforcement is likely to take the form of fines.”

She said if people follow the new rules “however difficult” then “many fewer of us will die of this virus”.

Earlier today Mrs Sturgeon called on all “non-essential” shops to close their doors along with libraries, places of worship and communal areas within parks.

Scotland’s chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood added: “We have the virus in Scotland and this is no longer a rehearsal for something that might have to happen.”

She added that the new measures “can restrict the spread but only if people comply with each and every one of these measures”.

She called on Scots to “reduce their contact with anyone outside their own household”.

She said not complying with the measures will impact the NHS and covid-19 deaths will increase.

Dr Calderwood added: “This is not a rehearsal. This is real life”.

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