TIMES.KY

Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Wednesday, Feb 01, 2023

Scotland and Wales both act to tighten rules amid Omicron spread

Scotland and Wales both act to tighten rules amid Omicron spread

Nicola Sturgeon cancels Hogmanay street party as Wales brings in £60 fines for failing to work from home

Edinburgh’s annual Hogmanay street party has been cancelled, while in Wales employees face £60 fines for failing to work from home as governments tightened rules to limit the spread of the Omicron variant.

The Scottish and Welsh governments also imposed limits on sporting events from Boxing Day.

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, reassured the public that they would not have to change their Christmas Day plans as she appealed to everyone to reduce their social contact and stay at home as much as possible in advance of Christmas and after the festive weekend.

Sturgeon told MSPs on Tuesday that further protections were necessary, including all outdoor events being limited to 500 people, and indoor events including concerts limited to 200 people seated, or 100 standing, with 1-metre physical distancing required for any events still going ahead.

The Welsh government said all sporting events would be held behind closed doors from 26 December and introduced a legal requirement to work from home unless there was a reasonable excuse not to, accompanied by a £60 fixed penalty notice for workers and £1,000 fines for companies.

The GMB union warned this would affect “the poorest, most vulnerable workers”, while the Wales TUC general secretary, Shavanah Taj, expressed “shock and concern” at the decision.

Scotland’s new rules will hit the Old Firm derby between Celtic and Rangers on 2 January and large-scale Hogmanay street parties: Edinburgh’s was planned to go ahead at a reduced capacity of 30,000. Omicron cases have increased in Scotland by more than 50% in a week.

Acknowledging the disappointment of those looking forward to such events, Sturgeon said: “The much higher transmissibility of Omicron means large gatherings have the potential to become very rapid super-spreader events, putting large numbers at risk of getting infected very quickly. Limiting these events helps reduce the risk of widespread transmission.”

She said this would also cut down the transmission risks of fans travelling to and from matches. “And second, these large events put an additional burden on emergency services, especially the police and ambulance services,” she added.

Her statement included some other changes:

*  Non-professional indoor contact sports for adults should not take place during the three-week period from 26 December.

*  A requirement for table service only will be reintroduced for venues serving alcohol for consumption on the premises.

*  ndoor hospitality and leisure venues will be asked to ensure 1-metre distancing between groups.

*  People meeting indoors at home or in hospitality or leisure venues should be in groups of no more than 3 households.

Sturgeon told MSPs that the S-gene dropout indicator for the Omicron variant now accounted for 62.9% of all cases in Scotland, compared with 27.5% this time last week. While there were increases across all age groups, the biggest – of 161% – was in 20- to 24-year-olds.

She said that staffing shortages were already putting additional strain on health and emergency services, adding that 100 Scotrail services were cancelled on Sunday because of staff absence.

Sturgeon said that she was “acutely aware” that the latest restrictions, as well as the advice to avoid socialising, had significant financial implications for many businesses.

However, she questioned whether the latest announcement of a £1bn bailout package for UK businesses by the Treasury generated “new” money for Scotland, rather than being an advance allocation of money already budgeted for.

Newsletter

Related Articles

TIMES.KY
Close
0:00
0:00
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Addresses Joint Session of Congress - FULL SPEECH
If a country is denied the right to independence by another, it is not in a union. It is in a dictatorship.
Where is Rishi? Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's excuses about the UK's economic challenges just don't make sense
Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried finally arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges
Corruption works: House Financial Services Chair Waters doesn't plan to subpoena her donor, Sam Bankman-Fried, to testify at hearing on FTX collapse
Ronaldo's new contract...
Prince William's godmother resigns honorary royal role after exposing her/their racism
British PM Rishi Sunak pledges further action on strikes to 'protect lives'
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman.
Double standards: UK lawmakers attack EU chief over Ireland claims
×