LiveCoronavirus in Scotland RECAP: Deputy First Minister John Swinney urges families to stay home this Halloween
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Follow along here to stay up-to-date with the latest developments on Friday.
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Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE: The latest updates on Friday
Last updated: Friday, 30 October, 2020, 13:35
- Face coverings mandatory for teachers and senior pupils in Level 3 areas
- 28 Covid deaths in Scotland reported on Friday
- 1,281 new cases of coronavirus reported
- BA owner records £5.1bn loss due to Covid-19
R number still above 1
The reproduction number, or R value, of coronavirus transmission across the UK still remains above 1.
Data released on Friday by the Government Office for Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) shows the estimate for R for the whole of the UK is between 1.1 and 1.3.
Last week, the R number was between 1.2 and 1.4.
R represents the average number of people each Covid-19 positive person goes on to infect.
When the figure is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially.
An R number between 1.1 and 1.3 means that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 11 and 13 other people.
Wales could ban people from areas of UK with high levels of coronavirus
A travel ban preventing people in areas of the UK with high levels of coronavirus from entering Wales could continue following the country’s firebreak lockdown, First Minister Mark Drakeford has said.
“I will want to study, over this weekend and into next week, the comparative incidence rates between Wales and parts of England which are under Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions,” Mr Drakeford said.
“The point of asking people in those places not to travel into Wales was because the rate of virus circulation in those places was so much more than it is here and I’m afraid there is still a significant gap between those places and Wales.
“If that remains the same, then we will expect to have a similar regime after November 9 as we had prior to October 23 because it just doesn’t make sense to add to the difficulties we already face by the virus being imported from elsewhere.”
Pupils and their teachers will now be forced to wear face masks in the classroom in areas facing tougher Covid-19 lockdown measures, the Scottish government has announced.
Do you agree with this measure? Let us know your views.
Mark Drakeford: I have no interest in a competition between Wales and any other part of the UK
Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford has said he received a letter from Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier this week regarding a discussion on a “common approach to Christmas”.
“I have no interest at all in turning this into a competition between Wales and any other part of the United Kingdom,” Mr Drakeford said.
“I have nothing but a positive wish to see those things succeed but what I do want to see is an opportunity to discuss these matters with the UK Government.
“The Prime Minister wrote to me at the start of this week and said that I would be receiving an invitation from Michael Gove to a discussion on a common approach to Christmas across the United Kingdom.
“We’ve done our best to try to secure that meeting this week. It hasn’t yet been forthcoming.”
Deadline nears for Boris Johnson’s 500,000 testing capacity pledge
Boris Johnson made a promise in July to increase the UK’s Covid-19 testing capacity to 500,000 tests per day by the end of October.
The latest data on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard shows that there is currently a capacity for 467,512 tests with 308,763 tests actually being processed.
The Prime Minister may not be far off his target with just one day left to meet it – but will it be a huge success that will help make a real difference to the current escalating problem of rising infection numbers?
Dr Joshua Moon, research fellow in the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex Business School, said the Government will “probably” reach the target.
“But what that tells us is limited,” he said. “The gap between capacity and tests done is important here because the capacity figure generally refers to overall testing capacity, not the Pillar 1 & Pillar 2 testing capacity which are linked to Test and Trace.”
John Swinney: Please stay home this Halloween
Speaking ahead of Halloween, John Swinney reminded people not to visit other people’s homes.
He added: “We should all be avoiding activities that make the spread of the virus more likely, I am afraid the guising falls into that category.
“Going door to door, passing sweets, touching items others have touches, all of that gives the opportunity for Covid to spread.
“So this Halloween our advice is you should stay at home.”
He urged people to celebrate the event in the safety of their own homes, and added: “None of us like the fact that these restrictions have to be in place, but sticking to them is really important, it will help to keep us all safe.
“So please stay home this Halloween, don’t take risks for the sake of one night, it is really not worth it.”
Read more: Coronavirus in Scotland: Government announces Remembrance events will not be able to take place across Scotland
Scottish Government announces Remembrance events will not be able to take place across large parts of country
The Scottish Government has published new guidance for Remembrance Sunday activities which states that they will not be able to take place unless they are held in a place of worship.
Your say on face masks becoming compulsory for senior pupils and teachers in high lockdown levels
Michael Robert Smith says: "There's no point in Bolting a stable door, after the horse has bolted."
James Thomas Kilpatrick added: "Should be compulsory everywhere.
Have your say as face masks become compulsory for senior pupils and teachers in high lockdown levels
Coronavirus cases in England continue ‘to rise steeply’
Cases of coronavirus in England have jumped 47% in one week, according to new data.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) infection survey found cases “continued to rise steeply”, with an average of 51,900 new cases per day of Covid-19 in private homes between October 17 and 23.
This is up 47% from 35,200 new cases per day for the period from October 10 to 16, according to the ONS estimates.
Overall, around one in 100 people had Covid-19 over the course of the latest week.
John Swinney: Keeping schools and childcare open is highest priority
John Swinney spoke about new guidance for schools on dealing with coronavirus – which will require senior pupils and teachers in parts of Scotland to wear face coverings inside classrooms.
This will apply from Monday in parts of Scotland which have been placed in Level 3 in the new five-tier system of restrictions.
Speaking at the daily coronavirus briefing, the Deputy First Minister said the Scottish Government had asked for updated advice on schools and childcare.
He said: “Keeping schools and childcare open is of the highest priority to the Scottish Government.
“I understand this is frustrating for other sectors who are having to close temporarily or to face restrictions, but I want to be pretty straightforward about the choice we have made here.
“Bluntly, if we are to successfully suppress the virus and save lives, we cannot open up every sector and keep schools open at the same time. That is the hard choice we face and we have chosen to put schools and childcare first.
“We have done that because we know that closing schools increases inequality and potentially causes long-term harm to children and we are determined to avoid doing that.”
Fire hits coronavirus intensive care ward
An investigation is under way after a fire inside a hospital’s Covid-19 intensive care ward.
Three fire engines attended University Hospital Hairmyres in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, after the alarm was raised at 9.45pm on Thursday.
NHS Lanarkshire said the 13 patients in ward one where the fire started, which is a coronavirus intensive treatment unit, and from the adjacent wards were moved to other parts of the hospital.
Firefighters extinguished the blaze, which was on the first floor of the building, and left the scene after making it safe.
NHS Lanarkshire said emergency patients are currently being diverted to the most appropriate hospitals due to the damage and disruption caused by the fire.
There are no reports of any injuries.
Coronavirus in Scotland: 28 deaths registered as country sees more than 1,000 new cases in 24 hours
A total of 28 deaths have been recorded in the last 24 hours as Scotland sees 1,281 new cases since yesterday.
Coronavirus in Scotland: 194 new cases in Lothians as country registers 28 deaths in 24 hours
A total of 194 people have tested positive in the Lothians in the last 24 hours as Scotland records 28 new deaths.