Nicola Sturgeon can't rule out 'additional' lockdown restrictions

Nicola Sturgeon has warned that she cannot rule out "additional measures" to the current lockdown restrictions to halt the spread of coronavirus in Scotland.

But the First Minister said on Thursday there are signs that cases are beginning to "stabilise" as a result of the restrictions which have been introduced since Boxing Day.

All of mainland Scotland is now at Level 4, the highest restriction rate, with extra measures unveiled this week for takeaways and click and collect.

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But the SNP leader admitted that ministers may have to go further if this proves not to be enough.

Nicola Sturgeon speaks at the Scottish Government's daily Covid briefing. Picture: Scottish Government
Nicola Sturgeon speaks at the Scottish Government's daily Covid briefing. Picture: Scottish Government

"We are in a pandemic for a very infectious virus and if we don't manage, through the current restrictions that are in place, to suppress it sufficiently then we will have to consider additional measures,” said Ms Sturgeon.

"That's been true since day one of this and it remains true now. What we set out yesterday is what we think will help at the moment."

The restrictions set out yesterday will come into effect this weekend.

But Ms Sturgeon said that the measures which were introduced on Boxing Day, placing a nationwide Level 4 restriction on mainland Scotland, are beginning to have an impact.

Ms Sturgeon said: "We think we're starting to see a stabilisation on case numbers.

"You can see what I'm reporting to you every day, but it's too early to be sure that that is sustained and of course with this virus you can't have a stabilisation at a really high rate.

"We've got to force infection rates down, so these are things we keep under review all of the time."

Ms Sturgeon told today’s daily Coronavirus briefing that Scotland's R number could be as high as 1.4, with another 64 coronavirus-related deaths confirmed in the past day.

In the past 24 hours, 1,707 new cases of Coronavirus have been confirmed - taking the total to 157,079 since the start of the pandemic.

There are 1,829 people in hospital confirmed to have Covid-19, up by 35 in 24 hours.

Of these patients, 142 are in intensive care - a rise of eight in the same period.

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