Speaking today at the daily coronavirus briefing, Nicola Sturgeon addressed six key points, including the latest case number update and the decision to put 11 local authority areas into tier 4. 

Here are the six key points from today's briefing.

Daily Covid-19 numbers

Scotland has recorded 54 deaths from coronavirus and 1,264 positive tests in the past 24 hours, Nicola Sturgeon said.

The First Minister said the death toll under this measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – has risen to 3,377.

The figures are lower than the 5,135 deaths given earlier by the National Records of Scotland as they do not include suspected and probable coronavirus infections.

Ms Sturgeon said the daily test positivity rate is 6.7%, down from 8.3% on the previous day.

A total of 84,523 people have now tested positive in Scotland, up from 83,259.

Of the new cases, 420 are in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 312 in Lanarkshire, 141 in Lothian.

There are 1,241 people in hospital confirmed to have the virus, down by nine in 24 hours.

Of these patients, 88 are in intensive care, down by seven.

Tier 4

Addressing the decision to put 11 local authority areas into the toughest levels of restrictions, Nicola Sturgeon described the measures as “tough” but “necessary”.

Areas in the central belt of the country were moved from Level 3 to Level 4 on Tuesday, with the restrictions coming into effect on Friday.

Non-essential shops and hospitality have been forced to close in these areas for the next three weeks.

Ms Sturgeon reiterated the decision was made to tackle the spread and the number of deaths from Covid-19, as well as to ensure that hospitals do not become overwhelmed and to increase the chances of families being able to meet at Christmas.


Work is being done across the UK to allow people to meet for Christmas, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The Scottish Government is in discussion with the rest of the UK in hopes of creating a four-nations consensus on meeting at Christmas.

At the coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh, Ms Sturgeon said: “We are all desperate for some normality around Christmas and I absolutely include myself in that.

“The Scottish Government right now is working very closely and well with the other UK nations to try to agree a way for that to happen – we want to have the same position across the UK given family patterns that exist.

“But we know that people coming together when a virus is circulating will increase the risks of it spreading.”

The First Minister again said that meeting at Christmas requires the prevalence of the virus to reduce in the coming weeks.


The benefits of schools being open “outweigh” their impact on the spread of coronavirus, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Speaking at the coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh, Ms Sturgeon outlined the details of a new report from Public Health Scotland, which showed that three-quarters of all schools did not report a single case of Covid-19 in the first nine weeks of this term.

In total, 1,621 pupils tested positive for the virus during that period, the equivalent of 0.2% of the total cohort.

Responding to calls to close schools in higher prevalence areas, Ms Sturgeon said: “While we will continue to listen carefully to all concerns, these findings do reinforce our view that, at this time, the benefits young people gain from being in school outweigh the overall impact on transmission rates.”


The First Minister urged care from those who were in the shielding category earlier this year who live in higher prevalence areas.

Nicola Sturgeon said that people with pre-existing health conditions should consider shopping at quieter times, as well as work from home if possible.

For those who cannot work from home, arrangements should be made with employers to ensure the safety of vulnerable people.

A letter from interim chief medical officer Dr Gregor Smith will also be sent to those who were previously shielding, which can also be used, if employers fail to make workplaces sufficiently safe, as justification for the affected person not turning up.

The First Minister said: “We hope that by providing you with the information that you need, can help you take the decisions which best protect your health and your welfare.”

Travel restrictions

Travel restrictions due to be put into law this week “doesn’t sit easily” with the First Minister, she has said.

On Tuesday, Nicola Sturgeon announced that guidance previously issued against travel into and out of Level 3 and Level 4 would be entered into law this week.

While Police Scotland has said it will not be putting up roadblocks or stopping vehicles they suspect to be violating the regulations, some have railed against the plans – with a Lib Dem MSP describing the move as “draconian”.

Speaking at the coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh, Nicola Sturgeon said: “Let me be very candid – I know that it doesn’t sit easily with anybody, including me, to be told that you can’t travel freely within the country, I absolutely understand that.

“But many countries have restrictions like this in place right now to help stop the virus spreading from area to area and that’s particularly important in Scotland where we are deliberately trying to take a more localised approach, we are trying to avoid the whole country having to go into Level 4 restrictions.

“To be blunt, we can only keep relatively low levels of restrictions in areas with low levels of the virus if we ensure that people don’t travel to these areas from other parts of Scotland with high levels of the virus.”