Will Scotland go into lockdown? If Scottish Government could follow England with national restrictions

The country has entered its five-tier system, with Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee facing the toughest restrictions

Boris Johnson announced an England-wide lockdown on Saturday (Getty Images)
Boris Johnson announced an England-wide lockdown on Saturday (Getty Images)

On Saturday (October 31) Boris Johnson announced that England was being placed under a second national lockdown.

The move came after a tiered system of local lockdown restrictions failed to suppress the spread of the coronavirus south of the border.

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Alongside the lockdown, the extension of the furlough scheme, which had been set to expire on November 1, was extended.

The reintroduction of a lockdown and the promise of economic measures could see Scotland placed into a similar national lockdown.

Could Scotland be placed in second national lockdown?

Following the rushed announcement that England would be moving into a second national lockdown, Nicola Sturgeon said that he government would "carefully consider the impact" of such a move.

In a statement she said: "a crucial point for us is whether support on the scale announced for English businesses is available for Scottish businesses now or if we needed to impose further restrictions later - or if it is only available if Scotland has a full lockdown at the same time as a lockdown in England.”

Professor Linda Bauld, the Bruce and John Usher Chair of Public Health at the University of Edinburgh told Sky News that Scotland may be forced to move into a second lockdown if there was no promise of similar financial support for Scotland should they decide to implement a national lockdown in future.

She said: "The question for the Scottish government, and indeed for Northern Ireland and Wales, is if they needed to implement those kinds of measures again in the future, would furlough be available to them? And it may not.”

"There is a question as to whether the Scottish government might be forced to do something more dramatic during November to take advantage of that fiscal package."

The First Minister has previously said that a second national lockdown may be necessary in Scotland, saying in late August: “unless all of us do the right things, that [avoiding a lockdown] will be very hard to do on a continuous basis over the weeks and months ahead, particularly as we get into winter.

"None of us want to live our lives in this way but by doing that if we keep the virus under control, we are avoiding a much worse outcome which is going back to the more restrictive situation that we saw earlier in the year."

What are the current restrictions in Scotland?

Monday (2 November) marked Scotland’s first day under a new set of tiered restrictions.

The new restrictions, which will see differing measures depending on the prevalence of Covid-19 and the severity of the virus, legally came into force at 6am.

It means some areas of Scotland are able to reopen restaurants, pubs and bars until 10.30pm, while areas such as the central belt and Tayside, which are in tier 3, see a continuation of restrictions introduced in mid-October.

Two main restrictions remain in place nationwide, namely the ban on households meeting indoors and not travelling to or from any area subject to level three restrictions.