Nicola Sturgeon briefing LIVE: 13 new coronavirus deaths | 1,351 new cases

Live updates on coronavirus in Scotland.

Thursday, 15th October 2020, 12:23 pm

Follow along here to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in Scotland, the UK, and around the world.

Coronavirus in Scotland.

Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE: Thursday, October 15, 2020

Last updated: Thursday, 15 October, 2020, 13:19

  • Scots told to 'think very carefully’ about travelling
  • New regulations on face masks in Scotland
  • Nicola Sturgeon warns against holidays to Blackpool
  • 13 more deaths from coronavirus in Scotland
  • Scots GPs at risk of being 'overwhelmed’ this winter

Sturgeon: ‘Be kinder to each other'

The First Minister has urged Scots to “be kinder to each other than we might normally be”.

Speaking to a virtual meeting of the Scottish Parliament, Nicola Sturgeon said that there would be a “difficult few months that lie ahead”.

She said: “Look out for people, offer help if you can and remember this is no one’s fault.

“Our experiences are different, I know, but this pandemic is something that we’re all living through, none of us are exempt from the impact and we are all finding it hard.”

The First Minister added: “I know it can sound cliched, but I will make no apology for saying that love, kindness and solidarity are more important now than ever before.

“Even just a smile and a kind word can help make a tough day slightly better.”

Popular Rangers pub in Blackpool to close this weekend

A popular Rangers pub in the English seaside town of Blackpool will close its doors this weekend amid a surge in demand for bookings.

The Gallant Pioneer, close to Blackpool’s famous South Pier, said it would not open for Rangers fans to watch this weekend’s Old Firm match, despite management receiving more than 1,500 booking requests.

Explaining the decision, the pub’s owners said it was the correct decision “with everything taken into account.”

Yesterday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urged Scots not to visit Blackpool after more than 180 cases of coronavirus in Scotland reported last month were linked to the town.

That figure now stands at 286.

“Do not travel to Blackpool this weekend to watch the old firm match in a pub,” she warned, “If you do that, you will be putting yourselves, and you will be putting other people at risk.”

But the pub’s management said Ms Sturgeon’s warning had had the opposite effect.

“We have the First Minister of Scotland advising everyone not to travel to Blackpool, which has led to another barrage of messages of people planning to do the exact opposite of what she has said.

“I am not exaggerating when I say we have had requests for over 1500 people for our wee pub since last week,” a post on the pub’s Facebook page told followers.

Read the full story.

First Minister will not rule out further restrictions

The Scottish Government “cannot rule out” imposing greater restrictions if the current spike in coronavirus cases continues, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Speaking at a virtual meeting of the Scottish Parliament, the First Minister said: “Although we have put in place tough measures, we cannot rule out having to go further in the future.”

New restrictions put in place by the Welsh Government on Wednesday which would stop travel from high prevalence areas in different parts of the UK from travelling to the country could be mirrored in Scotland, Ms Sturgeon said.

She added: “As we consider these issues, plan future steps and where necessary, take emergency action, we will seek to ensure that parliament is fully informed and involved in these decisions.”

New measures to police self-isolation

A new strategic framework, devised by the Scottish Government, will be put before Parliament to “strengthen our resilience to live with this virus”.

The framework, which will be debated by MSPs, will detail support for businesses in the future should they be the subject of further restrictions required to tackle Covid.

Measures to increase compliance with self-isolation requests will also be detailed, Nicola Sturgeon told a virtual meeting of the Scottish Parliament, as well as how those on low incomes will be helped.

Scotland’s testing strategy, as well as future projections of daily testing capacity, will also be part of the framework along with analysis of how the capacity can best be deployed.

A draft of the framework will be made available to opposition parties and a “detailed briefing” will be held for party leaders.

The First Minister added: “A global pandemic of an infectious virus will require emergency action and quick legislation, but as we prepare to live with Covid for an extended period, we recognise that this imperative must be balanced by the need for robust and, whenever possible, pre-emptive parliamentary scrutiny.”

Sturgeon: £20m grant fund for businesses

Businesses hit by new restrictions put in place last week will benefit from £40 million in support, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Part of that will be a £20 million grant fund, to be administered by local authorities, which will open to applications from Tuesday.

The First Minister said: “I would encourage all eligible businesses who need support to apply.

“There is, after all, an important principle here – many businesses are being required to take drastic action to help us tackle Covid and so it is essential that we take significant action to support them too.”

Aberdeen ward closes in latest hospital coronavirus outbreak

A ward at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary has closed in the latest coronavirus outbreak at a hospital in Scotland.

No new admissions or visitors will be allowed in Ward 212 – an orthopaedic trauma unit – after a small number of coronavirus cases were confirmed.

Enhanced cleaning is taking place at the ward.

A spokesman for NHS Grampian said: “We are investigating a small number of detected cases of Covid-19 associated with Ward 212 at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

“The ward has been closed to new admissions and visitors are not permitted at present, although virtual visiting is available.

“Care is being delivered as normal. Enhanced cleaning regimes are in place.”

On Monday, NHS Lothian said a “very small number of patients” had died after a coronavirus outbreak in a cancer ward at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.

Nine patients and six members of staff tested positive for Covid-19 and were self-isolating.

Covid-19 cases were also confirmed at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow earlier this week, though NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde confirmed the affected ward had reopened on Tuesday.

New legislation on face masks

Regulations designed to expand the legal use of face coverings will be laid before the Scottish Parliament on Thursday, with some measures coming into effect on Friday, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The First Minister told MSPs in a virtual meeting of Holyrood that two new measures will come into force on Friday, but would “deliver some flexibility” – including allowing for an exemption for couples during their wedding.

The new regulations will bring the rules in workplace canteens into line with other hospitality businesses, Ms Sturgeon said, meaning that patrons will only be able to remove their mask when seated at a table.

From Monday, other communal areas in work places will be covered by the restrictions, meaning staff will need to wear a mask in areas such as corridors.

The First Minister said: “The new rules are a proportionate additional step which will help employees keep themselves and their colleagues that bit safer.”

Read the full story.

This pandemic will not last forever. It will pass,  and hopefully soon we will be able to foresee a time when we can talk about it in the past tense.

First Minister Sturgeon

Sturgeon: Restrictions in Scotland will not be lifted

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said restrictions will not be lifted as a result of the three-weekly review, following a spike in coronavirus cases.

Addressing a virtual meeting of the Scottish Parliament, she said Scotland was at a “critical moment” which needed difficult decisions to be made.

On Wednesday, Ms Sturgeon urged Scots not to travel to Blackpool after 180 confirmed cases of Covid-19 were found to have links to the seaside town.

Ms Sturgeon told MSPs that this figure has since risen to 286.

Key details of Scotland’s latest coronavirus figures:

Scotland has recorded 13 deaths of coronavirus patients in the past 24 hours, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

This takes the death toll under this measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – to 2,585.

In a statement to a virtual session of the Scottish Parliament, the First Minister said 1,351 people have tested positive in the past 24 hours.

This is 17.6% of newly-tested individuals, up from 16.4% on Wednesday.

She said 44,036 people have now tested positive in Scotland, up 42,685 from the day before.

Of the new cases, 450 are in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 374 in Lanarkshire, 161 in Lothian, and 111 in Ayrshire and Arran.

There are 601 people in hospital confirmed to have the virus, up by 31 in 24 hours.

Of these patients, 15 were in intensive care, up by two.

Full details here.

Page 1 of 3