Scottish Government Gains New Powers for Covid-19 Crisis

New measures contained in the UK Coronavirus Bill will enhance Scotland’s response to COVID-19 and strengthen frontline service.

The Coronavirus Bill gained Royal Assent yesterday, giving the Scottish Government the power to put regulation in place to enforce social distancing measures.

Police Scotland now have the necessary powers to enforce restrictions.

Those who choose not to comply with the rules set out by the Scottish Government could be subject to prohibition notices, on the spot fines and if necessary, prosecution.

Maree Todd MSP (pictured) for the Highlands & Islands region said:

“Scotland is effectively in lockdown.

“Stringent steps have been taken to suppress – as far as we can – the spread of the virus.

“The aim of the delay phase will be to slow the spread of the disease so that we can lower its peak and thereby enable our national health service to cope with it better.

“The Coronavirus Bill contains a number of additional powers that would not be considered if not for the extreme seriousness of the challenge that we now face. 

“Of course, we hope that police enforcement won’t be necessary, but it’s important that the police can impose restrictions if and when required.”

The latest measures put into place by the Scottish Government on Monday mean the only permissible reasons to leave your home now are as follows:

To shop for necessities but only once a day, at the most

To take exercise, alone or with your household, not in groups and no more than once a day

For medical reasons, for yourself or if providing care or support for a vulnerable person

To travel to essential work if it absolutely cannot be done from home

Ms Todd adds:

“Highlanders are made of strong stuff and I know we will get through this.

“I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone on the frontline, from doctors to nurses, care assistants to pharmacists, police to shop workers and of course, to the community volunteers who are also providing a lifeline service to vulnerable people in their community.”

For the latest updates on Coronavirus from NHS Scotland click here.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus phone NHS 24 on 111.