Publication - Speech/statement

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: First Minister’s statement – 31 October 2020

Published: 31 Oct 2020
Delivered by: First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Statement given by the First Minister on Saturday 31 October.

Published:
31 Oct 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: First Minister’s statement – 31 October 2020

The First Minister said:

"We will carefully consider the impact of today’s announcement in England - however, we will continue to take decisions that reflect circumstances in Scotland.

"We expect to have further discussion in the coming days about the scope of additional financial support being made available. A crucial point for us is whether support on the scale announced for English businesses is available for Scottish businesses now or if we needed to impose further restrictions later - or if it is only available if Scotland has a full lock down at the same time as a lockdown in England.

"However, notwithstanding the above, today’s developments should be a reminder to people across Scotland of the need to follow the rules and not to put their own twist on them.  It is important we all comply with the rules in our area if we are to successfully suppress the virus, protect the NHS and keep as many businesses and services open.

"People across Scotland have faced significant restrictions since late September as we work to stop the increase in Covid cases across the country. Prevalence of the virus is currently lower in Scotland than in other parts of the UK and there are some signs that those earlier restrictions may be starting to slow the rate of increase.

"However, we are monitoring the spread of the virus in all parts of Scotland on a daily basis to assess if, to what extent and at what speed the slowdown is continuing. We will not hesitate to increase the level of protection either locally or nationally if required. Our new levels approach - including a potential level 4 - enables us to respond quickly and flexibly as required.

"Scotland’s new levels based system of protection comes into force on Monday morning at 0600 and I encourage everyone to find out what level their local authority is in and to stick to the rules in their area.  I also urge everyone to follow two key national restrictions by not mixing with other households inside our homes, and not travelling to or from any part of the country in level 3 unless it is absolutely essential.

"Following today’s announcement by the Prime Minister we are also asking that people do not travel to England, or from England into Scotland unless absolutely essential, just as we are also asking people not to go to Northern Ireland or to Wales.

"We know that these restrictions are difficult, but public health and preventing the spread of the virus must come first."