Nicola Sturgeon: ‘Believe me when I say Christmas restrictions are necessary’

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon asked the public to believe her when she says new Christmas restrictions are “necessary” to halt the spread of coronavirus cases.

Ms Sturgeon announced on Saturday that Shetland would be placed into tier three from Boxing Day – despite the isles not recording a coronavirus case for almost three weeks.

But the First Minister insisted that the move was essential to stopping the spread of a new strain of the virus, which is thought to be more contagious.

The move was made only days after Ms Sturgeon had insisted she did not want to cancel Christmas, and will mean households can only meet on Christmas Day instead of the previously planned five-day festive period.

She said the decision was “heart-breaking”, and added: “If I thought there was an alternative I would take that alternative in a heart-beat.

“Believe me when I say they are necessary.”

The new strain of the virus gives the country “real cause for concern,” Ms Sturgeon said.

“If we are complacent, the virus can run away from us very quickly.

“The risk of it spreading rapidly is very real indeed.”

Ms Sturgeon said there was evidence to suggest that cases were rising rapidly across the country once again, and she said case numbers were “volatile”.

Police Scotland chief constable Iain Livingstone laid out the measures police officers will be taking from Boxing Day onwards too.

He told the public there will be more officers patrolling the roads in the weeks after Christmas, to ensure no-one is flouting blanket travel ban rules.


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