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The Telegraph

Nicola Sturgeon to unveil even harsher lockdown to curb mutant virus

Nicola Sturgeon was weighing up keeping schools shut until the February half term and ordering Scots to stay at home as she prepared to unveil even harsher Covid lockdown restrictions. The First Minister will hold a meeting of her Cabinet on Monday morning to approve new restrictions, before making an emergency statement to Holyrood at 2pm. Sources close to Ms Sturgeon told the Telegraph she was examining extending the closure of schools from Jan 18 to the end of the month, or after the February half-term break, but with a promise to reopen them sooner if the situation improved.

They said she was considering how to strengthen her call for Scots to voluntarily stay in the areas around their homes and stricter limits on meeting others outdoors.

The public could also be asked to wear face coverings in a wider array of settings, including outside, as already happens in some Continental countries.

Although all of Scotland is already in the highest tier 4 of Ms Sturgeon’s lockdown system, the First Minister is concerned the restrictions are not enough to control the spread of the new, more transmissible variant.

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