Pubs and restaurants in the central belt of Scotland are to remain closed, Nicola Sturgeon said as she extended the coronavirus restrictions for a third week.
Speaking at the Scottish Government’s daily virus briefing, the First Minister said the measures introduced at the beginning of October and intended to last for two weeks will now continue until November 2.
They were due to end on October 25, and also forced the closure of snooker and pool halls, indoor bowling, casinos and bingo halls in the central belt, with a 6pm indoor curfew brought in for hospitality businesses elsewhere in Scotland.
People across the country are also banned from visiting each other’s homes, unless they are part of an extended household.
The restrictions will now be in place until a tiered system is introduced on November 2, with different measures for different areas.
Ms Sturgeon said while there is “cautious optimism” that the current restrictions are working, Scottish ministers have been told by advisers it would not be safe to lift them as originally planned on Monday.
“The extension allows us to transition more smoothly to the new levels system that we hope will be introduced on November 2,” she said.
She spoke as 28 more coronavirus deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, with 1,739 new positive tests.
This is the highest number of fatalities since May 21.