Outdoor drinking banned in much of Scotland – calls for tighter rules in England
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Drinking alcohol outside has been banned in much of Scotland, with pressure growing for similar measures in the rest of the UK.
Speaking in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that alcohol consumption outdoors in all Level 4 areas of Scotland will be banned.
In a raft of new measures designed to stem the spread, only shops selling essential items, like clothing and books, are allowed to offer click and collect services.
Takeaways are no longer allowed to let customers indoors, and must operate from hatches or windows.
Ms Sturgeon said: "We believe that both individually and collectively these additional measures, in further reducing the interactions that allow the virus to spread, will help our essential efforts to suppress it."
On top of new measures, Scots were told again to work from home where they can. Trades people have been told that only "maintenance, upkeep and functioning" services are permitted, banning painting and decorating.
Employers will be under a strengthened obligation to allow staff to work from home.
Sturgeon said that a rapid increase of cases caused by a new variant of the coronavirus appeared to be slowing down, but said it was not an indication that it was safe to ease lockdown, adding that more needed to be done.
The First Minister added: “I know that businesses affected by this change will be disappointed and that many have gone to great lengths to make services as safe as possible.
“But we must reduce as far as is possible the reasons people have just now for leaving home and coming into contact with others.
“I welcome the actions of those businesses that have voluntarily suspended click and collect and tightened their procedures in relation to face coverings.”
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A further 79 coronavirus deaths were recorded in Scotland over the past 24 hours.
Meanwhile, pressure has mounted on Downing Street to follow suit and toughen up the rules in England.
Sir Kier Starmer used Prime Minister's Questions today to urge Boris Johnson to beef up restrictions.
He accused the Government of "sitting" on its hands amid a rise in coronavirus cases over December.
Mr Johnson replied: "We keep things under constant review and we will continue to do so."
The Prime Minister revealed that 24/7 vaccine centres are set to be open to the public in the near future.
He added: "We will be going to 24/7 as soon as we can. At the moment the limit is on supply. We have a huge network… and they are going exceptionally fast.”
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