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expert reaction to additional restrictions announced for Scotland

The Scottish Government have announced new restrictions which will take affect from October 10th, including the closure of all licensed pubs and restaurants, and the ceasing of indoor sporting activity, among others, for two weeks.


Prof Rowland Kao, the Sir Timothy O’Shea Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology and Data Science, University of Edinburgh, said:

“The restriction of activities in pubs and restaurants including the full closure for two weeks in central Scotland, was widely anticipated from comments that Nicola Sturgeon had made earlier this week. They reflect what we have known for several weeks at least, which is that cases in Scotland have been rising across many communities and health boards, similar to what is occurring in many parts of England. This has most visibly been in the universities, but it has been accompanied by a less dramatic but substantial rise in other age groups, including the highly vulnerable elderly population and with evidence that deaths are also increasing in accord with infections. Thus something had to be done. We have long known that meeting in groups indoors has been a substantial risk for COVID-19 transmission as it is for other respiratory diseases. As meeting within homes were already restricted, there were very few options available to further curtail spread.

“It’s important to note that these measures have been put in place for two weeks, approximately long enough to cover at least two cycles of infection. They are designed to at the very least slow the progress of the epidemic, or even temporarily reduce it. They are only sufficient however, to buy time; other control measures, most importantly the test and protect system, must be buttressed in the meantime if these restrictions are to have a meaningful impact on the long term course of COVID-19 in Scotland, with possibly a very hard winter of infections in front of us.”


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