Sturgeon warns of 'hard but necessary' decisions to contain spread of Covid-19

The first minister has warned people in Scotland that she will make "hard but necessary" decisions to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the coming days.

A further 203 cases have been confirmed across Scotland - which is 4.4% of those newly tested.

Anything below 5% suggests the pandemic is under control - but the positivity rate has been creeping up in recent days.

At her daily briefing, Nicola Sturgeon said: "It may well be that if we are to interrupt  and break this growth, we will have to do more over the next few weeks. And this weekend will be critical in the assessment of how best to do that.

"As widely reported, SAGE met yesterday. I have chaired a meeting of senior Scottish Government officials and advisors this morning to assess the current situation and discussions across the four nations of the UK will, I hope, take place in the coming days.

"I’ve this morning asked the Prime Minister to convene a Cobra meeting over this weekend.

"So, I am today giving the nation advance notice, that the coming days are likely to see some hard but necessary decisions.

"If we want to avoid another full-scale lockdown, which all of us do, doing nothing almost certainly isn’t an option."

The first minister also highlighted the need to learn lessons from other countries.

She said: "Across the UK, and this is particularly the case in England right now,  hospital admissions are rising. ICU admissions are rising too. While this is particularly the case in England right now, this should sound a warning signal for us here in Scotland too.

"And, while for the last few weeks, people might have taken comfort from the low levels of older, more vulnerable people contracting the virus, I have to say to you that picture is also beginning to change.

"Recent data shows that the percentage of cases in the older population is now beginning to rise as well.

"Looking more widely, we can observe that in broad terms we might now be, at an earlier stage, on a similar path to that which has been taken in recent weeks by France.

"About four weeks ago, France stood broadly where we do today.

"But now they face around 10,000 new cases per day and hundreds of people in ICU and deaths in France are already rising now as well.

"So our task is to make sure – if we can – that we interrupt that, and we don’t end up where they are now.

"What lies behind this is a simple reality: we are facing the risk again of exponential growth in Covid.

"And we all know from our experience earlier this year what that looks like, and why it is so important to seek to avoid it."

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