All pubs and restaurants in central Scotland are to be closed under new measures which will come into effect from 18:00 (local time) on Friday, October 9, and are aimed at tackling the recent surge in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. The new measures will be in place until October 25 and apply to licensed premises across the central belt, including Glasgow and Edinburgh. In other parts of Scotland, pubs and restaurants will be able to open but can only serve alcohol outdoors.
In addition to the above, the following measures will remain in place. People are not allowed to invite other households into their homes, although there are a few exceptions which are further detailed here. In public, groups of up to six people are allowed to meet; however, they cannot exceed two households. This restriction does not apply where there is other sector-specific guidance in force, for example for gyms, childcare, organized sports, education, and places of worship. A maximum of 6 people from 2 households can meet in public indoor spaces such as cafes, pubs, and restaurants. Additionally, everyone using public transport in Scotland must wear a face covering.
As of Wednesday, October 7, there have been 546,949 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the UK, and 42,605 associated fatalities. In Scotland, there have been 33,706 confirmed cases and 2532 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell, or a rash on the skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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