NICOLA Sturgeon has tightened lockdown rules including around takeaways and the consumption of alcohol.

The First Minister said the situation facing Scotland remains "very precarious and extremely serious". 

She announced tougher rules for takeaway and click and collect services, as well as banning drinking alcohol outdoors in public in level four coronavirus areas.

READ MORE: Scotland's NHS 'could be overwhelmed in some areas' even with stay at home rule

Addressing MSPs in Holyrood, Ms Sturgeon outlined six new changes, all of which will come into force from Saturday. 

The first will limit the availability and operation of click and collect services.

Only retailers selling essential items will now be allowed to offer click and collect, she said.

These include food, clothes and footwear, baby equipment, homeware and books.

All other click and collect services must stop, Ms Sturgeon said.

She added: "More importantly, for click and collect services that are allowed, staggered appointments will need to be offered to avoid any potential for queuing, and access inside premises for collection will not be permitted."

Secondly, new restrictions will be applied to takeaway services.

Customers will no longer be permitted to go inside to collect takeaway food or coffee.

Any outlet wishing to offer takeaway will have to do so from a serving hatch or doorway.

Thirdly, the rules around the consumption of alcohol will be changed, making it against the law in all level four areas of Scotland to drink alcohol outdoors in public.

This will mean, for example, that buying a takeaway pint and drinking it outdoors will not be permitted.

Different parts of Scotland currently have different rules around drinking in outdoor public places.

Fourthly, Ms Sturgeon said the Scottish Government intends to "strengthen the obligation on employers to allow their staff to work from home whenever possible".

She said statutory guidance will be introduced to ensure bosses support employees to work from home.

Provisions relating to work inside people's homes will also be strengthened.

The final change will be an amendment to the regulations requiring people to stay at home, but Ms Sturgeon said this was "intended to close an apparent loophole rather than change the spirit of the law".

Right now, the law states that people can only leave home for an essential purpose.

However, having left home for an essential purpose, someone could then stay out to do something that is not essential without breaching the law as it stands.

The new amendment will make it clear that people must not leave or remain outside the home unless it is for an essential purpose.

Ms Sturgeon said: "This change will provide legal clarity to facilitate any necessary enforcement."

She added: "I know that none of this makes for enjoyable listening.

"If it is any comfort - though I don’t expect it will be - it gives me no pleasure to be talking about further restrictions on businesses and on our individual freedoms to come and go as we please.

"But please know that we would be doing none of this, if we did not believe it essential to get and keep this potentially deadly virus under control.

"Case numbers are still so high – and the new variant is so infectious – that we must use be as tough and as effective as we can to stop it spreading."

The First Minister said 1,949 new coronavirus cases were reported in the past 24 hours.

She said 1,794 people are in hospital with Covid, 77 more than yesterday. Of these, 134 are in intensive care.

A further 79 deaths of people who had tested positive for the virus have been recorded, bringing the total under this measurement to 5,102.

Ms Sturgeon said 1,005 patients were admitted to hospital in the week up to January 7 alone, compared to 851 in the last week of December.

As of yesterday, 191,965 people in Scotland had received their first dose of the vaccine.