02:39 GMT01 November 2020
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    As new coronavirus cases begin to resurge throughout the United Kingdom, Westminister and the devolved administrations are looking to introduce new lockdown measures to curb the rising localised outbreaks.

    The Scottish government announced on Monday that it will be introducing a three-tier framework of coronavirus restrictions later in October, following a similar system being imposed in England.

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon pledged to "align as closely as possible with other UK nations" on a strategic level as more stringent measures were brought in for Scotland's central belt on Friday.

    Sturgeon clarified that the 2-week "reset" restrictions, which have seen pubs and restaurants closed, were "temporary" and would be replaced with the multi-tier arrangement.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce the "three-tier" system for England on Monday, which classify different areas by varying risk - "medium", "high" or "very high" alert.

    ​Amid rising cases throughout Scotland follow the loosening of restrictions in June, new measures will apply to the whole country with attention to areas of specific health importance, based on where local outbreaks of coronavirus are identified.

    ​However, the first minister stressed that more restrictive rules than are currently in place were not "inevitable" and will be examining the new English system which is due to be introduced.

    "We intend to develop our own tiering framework and bring that to parliament after the October recess, and that will coincide with the ending of the temporary restrictions", Ms Sturgeon said.
    "At a strategic level, we will be looking to align as closely as possible with other UK nations - although I would stress that decisions will be taken at a devolved level".

    Sturgeon said the heightened lockdown restrictions currently established in the central belt represent "what will be roughly tier three", while the rest of Scotland is "more in tier two, where there are household restrictions" as well as looser rules on hospitality venues.

    She said that within those tiers there could be "different levels" in order to provide "greater clarity about the levels of intervention that will be required".

    © REUTERS / Russell Cheyne/Pool
    Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon attends First Minister's Questions in the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, Scotland, Britain, September 17, 2020.

    The First Minister said that her devolved administration was using the two weeks of restrictions to "strengthen compliance" with other government guidelines. She claimed that "early anecdotal evidence" from law enforcement showed that adherence to the new rules had been "good" over the weekend.

    Sturgeon gave sympathy to those under the new restrictions, acknowledging that they were "really tough for everyone" and hospitality businesses in particular but claimed "they are vital" for reducing new numbers of cases rising across the country.

    ​Following a meeting with Boris Johnson and the other devolved administrations in Wales, and Northern Ireland on Monday morning, Sturgeon said she would develop Scotland's own tiering framework while remaining in alignment with the rest of the UK.

    Details of the new system will be outlined in the coming weeks, while lawmakers debate and vote on the proposals after MSPs return to Holyrood in the week of 26 October.


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    Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland, coronavirus, COVID-19
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