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Glasgow Headlines UK

Coronavirus Scotland: Nicola Sturgeon puts 2.3M in Level 4 lockdown


Nicola Sturgeon today announced 11 local authority areas will be moved into Scotland’s toughest coronavirus level at the end of the week as she warned infection rates are still ‘stubbornly high’. 

The First Minister said the 11 council areas, which includes the city of Glasgow and covers approximately 2.3 million people, will be subject to Level Four restrictions from 6pm on Friday. 

People living in Level Four areas are banned from meeting with other households indoors while all non-essential shops must close. 

Ms Sturgeon said her message to people in those areas is that they ‘should not be going out and about’ and that the measures will be in place for three weeks, lifting on December 11. 

The SNP leader also announced she is making it illegal for people to travel into or out of Level Three and Level Four areas ‘except for certain essential purposes’. 

There is already guidance in place which urges people not to make such journeys but Ms Sturgeon said the advice will become law from Friday, raising the prospect of rule-breakers facing enforcement action from the police. 

The council areas in Scotland moving to Level Four from Friday are the City of Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, Stirling and West Lothian.

Ms Sturgeon said there was ‘grounds for continued and significant concern’ in all of the areas being moved into to Level Four.  

As well as the 11 areas being elevated to the top tier, two areas are being moved from Level Three to Level Two while 19 will experience no change. 

The tightening of the rules in many areas in Scotland will inevitably lead to increased scrutiny of Boris Johnson’s lockdown plans for England. 

The nation-wide shutdown is due to end on December 2 with ministers aiming to move back to a tiered-approach.

But there are growing fears that the new tier system will be even tougher than the old one amid suggestions it could include four levels rather than three and include tougher limits on mixing indoors and alcohol sales.  

Nicola Sturgeon today announced 11 local authority areas are being moved into the toughest coronavirus level from Friday

Coronavirus rules in Scotland

Coronavirus rules in Scotland

Under the Scottish government’s coronavirus restrictions all non-essential shops must close in Level Four areas while travel is restricted to essential journeys only

Official data published by Public Health Scotland showed that positive coronavirus cases north of the border remain high

Official data published by Public Health Scotland showed that positive coronavirus cases north of the border remain high

Which parts of Scotland are subject to which lockdown level? 

Level One: Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Highland, Moray, Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands,

Level Two: Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Argyll and Bute, Dumfries and Galloway, East Lothian (from November 24), Midlothian (from November 24), Scottish Borders,

Level Three: Angus, City of Edinburgh, Clackmannanshire, Dundee City, Falkirk, Fife, Inverclyde, North Ayrshire, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire,

Level Four: East Aryshire (from Friday), East Dunbartonshire (from Friday), East Renfrewshire (from Friday), Glasgow City (from Friday), North Lanarkshire (from Friday), Renfrewshire (from Friday), South Ayrshire (from Friday), South Lanarkshire (from Friday) Stirling (from Friday), West Dunbartonshire (from Friday), West Lothian (from Friday) 

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick delivered a strong hint that the levels of local restrictions in England will be bolstered even if the national curbs are lifted as scheduled on December 2.

He suggested some extra measures taken in Nottinghamshire – such as a bar on alcohol sales after 9pm – could be ’embedded’ in the arrangements.  

And he said no decision had been taken on whether to tighten the lowest Tier One, after health chiefs branded it ineffective. That could potentially mean families being prevented from gathering indoors over the festive season.

Pressed on the issue in the House of Commons this afternoon, Health Secretary Matt Hancock refused to kill off the idea, saying it was ‘too early to do the analysis’. ‘We will remain vigilant,’ he told MPs.   

It came as Ms Sturgeon and her allies seized on Mr Johnson’s comments made last night that devolution had been a ‘disaster’ as they tried to capitalise and drum up support for their independence drive.

The PM is facing the fury of unionists after venting his frustration at surging support for independence north of the border – blaming Tony Blair for handing powers to Holyrood more than 20 years ago.

A jubilant Ms Sturgeon claimed the comments, made during a Zoom call with MPs, were evidence the PM wanted to claw back powers to Westminster. 

And within hours the official Yes Scotland campaign had started pumping out slick images on social media highlighting the remarks and urging Scots to ‘protect devolution’. 

Tories raged that they were ‘speechless’ about Mr Johnson’s ‘loose language’, which comes ahead of critical elections north of the border in May – which the separatists want to use as a platform for forcing another referendum on splitting from the UK next year.

Sources close to Mr Johnson tried to limit the damage by insisting that he was referring to the way devolution has been ‘used by separatists and nationalists to break up the UK’, but Downing Street did not deny the leaked comments. 

Ms Sturgeon set out which areas in Scotland will face tighter coronavirus restrictions in a statement to MSPs in Holyrood this afternoon.  

She said the move into Level Four for the 11 areas is intended to be ‘short and sharp’ as she set out her hopes that the measures will result in a significant drop in infections which will pave the way for restrictions to be eased at Christmas. 

The First Minister told MSPs: ‘I know people are frustrated that other restrictions have remained in place longer than planned.

‘But Level Four is intended to be short and sharp. And in this situation, it is specifically intended to have an impact in advance of Christmas and the most challenging winter period.

‘Lifting the Level Four restrictions then – as we will do – also means that they will not be in place for most of the Hanukkah period – so again, while celebrations may be different, there will be a greater degree of freedom.

‘We will assess nearer the time the level that will apply in each area when the Level Four restrictions end on December 11.’

East Lothian and Midlothian will move from Level Three to Level Two after they recorded a ‘marked decline’ in the prevalence of the virus.

Ms Sturgeon said: ‘On that basis, assuming no significant deterioration before then, I can confirm that East Lothian and Midlothian will move from Level Three to Level Two from next Tuesday 24 November.

‘Between now and then, the local authorities will be able to undertake necessary environmental health and compliance checks, and work with NHS Lothian to minimise any risk of increased transmission that the move to Level 2 will bring.’ 

Ms Sturgeon also announced that travel guidance banning people from moving into and out of areas in Level Three and Level Four will be enshrined in law from Friday. 

Under the Scottish government's coronavirus restrictions people in Level Four areas are not allowed to meet people from other households indoors but they can meet outdoors

Under the Scottish government’s coronavirus restrictions people in Level Four areas are not allowed to meet people from other households indoors but they can meet outdoors

The Government also announced a further 213 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Monday - up 9.8 per cent from from last Monday's figure of 194

The Government also announced a further 213 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Monday – up 9.8 per cent from from last Monday’s figure of 194 

In another sign lockdown measures are working, new Covid case numbers were recorded at 21,363 in the UK. The figure is new lab-confirmed cases recorded as of 9am yesterday

In another sign lockdown measures are working, new Covid case numbers were recorded at 21,363 in the UK. The figure is new lab-confirmed cases recorded as of 9am yesterday

SNP immediately seizes on Boris’s ‘devolution disaster’ comments in ADVERTS pushing independence drive

Nicola Sturgeon and her allies today seized on Boris Johnson’s comments that devolution had been a ‘disaster’ to drum up support for their drive to split the UK. 

The PM is facing the fury of unionists after venting his frustration at surging support for independence north of the border – blaming Tony Blair for handing powers to Holyrood more than 20 years ago.

A jubilant Nicola Sturgeon immediately capitalised on the comments, made during a Zoom call with MPs, to claim Mr Johnson wanted to claw back control to Westminster. 

And within hours the official Yes Scotland campaign had started pumping out slick images on social media highlighting the remarks and urging Scots to ‘protect devolution’. 

Tories raged that they were ‘speechless’ about Mr Johnson’s ‘loose language’, which comes ahead of critical elections north of the border in May – which the separatists want to use as a platform for forcing another referendum on splitting the UK next year.

Scotland Conservative leader Douglas Ross tried to limit the damage by directly contradicting the premier, and is said to have demanded a showdown phone call with him.

A former communications chief for the party, Andy Maciver, said: ‘If the SNP could write the unionist script it would look exactly like this.’ 

Mr Johnson’s remarks came in a call with 60 MPs which he made over a video call from Downing Street self-isolation.

‘Devolution has been a disaster north of the border,’ he said, adding that it was former prime minister Mr Blair’s ‘biggest mistake’ when it was introduced in the late 1990s. 

Sources close to Mr Johnson tried to limit the damage by insisting that he was referring to the way devolution has been ‘used by separatists and nationalists to break up the UK’, but Downing Street did not deny the leaked comments.

It is another hammer blow for the PM’s desperate effort to ‘reset’ his government after a meltdown that saw maverick chief aide Dominic Cummings ousted.

But Mr Johnson has been left a prisoner in his Downing Street flat for the rest of the month after a maskless meeting an MP who later tested positive for coronavirus.   

She warned that failing to adhere to the travel ban would likely result in more areas being added to Level Four. 

She said: ‘To put it bluntly – and we will require to monitor this – if we see evidence that people from East or South Ayrshire are visiting places in North Ayrshire, or that people from Glasgow are going to Inverclyde, we would have no choice but to put these areas in Level Four too.

‘So it is essential that we all abide by travel restrictions.’

The First Minister added: ‘To underline how important this is, I can confirm that the guidance that has been in place in recent weeks will become law from Friday.

‘That means people living in Level Three or Level Four must not travel outside their own council area except for certain essential purposes.

‘People living elsewhere in Scotland mustn’t travel to Level Three or Level Four areas except for essential purposes.’ 

The SNP leader also said there should not be any non-essential travel between Scotland and other parts of the UK. 

Ms Sturgeon’s comments immediately prompted questions over how such a travel ban will be enforced. 

It came as Ms Sturgeon said restrictions on household gatherings put in place in recent weeks have helped to control the spread of coronavirus. 

She told MSPs the country had been on track to record 3,000 new cases per day if action had not been taken.

She said: ‘Clearly that has not happened. Daily case numbers are almost a third of that.

‘Prevalence in Scotland is at this point also lower than in other UK nations.

‘So we have made progress, but the overall level of infection remains higher than we need it to be. And the national picture is masking significant regional variation.’

Ms Sturgeon warned that infection rates in a number of areas across central Scotland are still ‘significantly above the national average’. 

She said many had seen their numbers stabilise but they had done so at a ‘stubbornly high level’.

Ms Sturgeon also revealed that the total number of deaths from Covid-19 in Scotland will pass 5,000 this week.   

Updating MSPs on the protection levels in local authorities on Tuesday, the First Minister said that National Records of Scotland will release a weekly report on deaths on Wednesday, which could confirm the milestone.

The First Minister said: ‘That is a sombre and distressing milestone. It is important we acknowledge it and remember every individual whose life has been lost to this virus.

‘Those figures remind us of the harm and heartbreak that this virus causes if allowed to spread. ‘



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Scotland outlaws smacking children from today in UK first


Scotland outlaws smacking children from today in UK first – despite concern over the state’s growing interference in family life

  • Scotland has become the first part of the UK to outlaw the smacking of children 
  • The legislation removes defence of justifiable assault from Scots law 
  • Campaigners say it undermines parents’ freedom to bring up their children
  • Others say that it is ‘pointless lawmaking that may be called “virtue signalling”‘ 

Parents are to be banned from smacking their children from today – despite concern over the state’s growing interference in family life.

The legislation removes the defence of justifiable assault from Scots law, making Scotland the 58th country to outlaw corporal punishment.

But campaigners say it undermines parents’ ability to decide how to bring up their children – and will result in needless criminalisation.

Alistair Bonnington, former Honorary Professor of Law at Glasgow University, said: ‘This kind of pointless law-making may be what is called “virtue signalling,” in the rather odd language invented to try to justify the numerous useless things governments now do. But I’m afraid that doesn’t make it any less pointless.’

Scotland has become the first part of the UK to ban the smacking of children after new legislation came into effect (picture posed by models) 

MSPs voted by 84 to 29 to pass the Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Bill at Holyrood last year.

Green MSP John Finnie, who brought forward the legislation, argued that protecting children from violence is the best way to teach that it is unacceptable.

But Mr Bonnington raised concern that the law would be difficult to enforce.

He said: ‘Firstly, if the child is too young to speak articulately about what has occurred, then plainly there is never going to be any information passed to the police or other authorities. This law will make no difference.

‘Secondly, even if the child is old enough to report the matter, are they likely to do that? If they want to continue staying within the home they occupy now, then the answer is no.

‘In practice, even if there has been an infringement of the law, it is highly unlikely that it will be reported to the authorities. Again, in short, this Act will make no difference.’

He added: ‘As so often, the Scottish parliament may be well-enough intentioned but is hopelessly naive in passing an Act such as this. 

The new law, which was voted in by Nicola Sturgeon's government in 2019, parents will face criminal prosecution for using corporal punishment

The new law, which was voted in by Nicola Sturgeon’s government in 2019, parents will face criminal prosecution for using corporal punishment

‘MSPs would appear to have very little experience of the realities of family life.’

Minister for Children Maree Todd said that the ‘justifiable assault’ defence was ‘outdated’ and had ‘no place in a modern Scotland’.

She added: ‘The removal of this defence reaffirms that we want this country to be the best place in the world for children to grow up.’



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One in ten people suffered suicidal thoughts during Britain’s lockdown


One in ten people had suicidal thoughts by the end of the first six weeks of Britain’s lockdown, research has found.

University of Glasgow academics found the pandemic and being confined to home had a major impact on the mental health of people across the UK.

The researchers surveyed 3,000 adults and found that the number of people having thoughts about taking their own life rose by two percentage points between March and May.

Although it is a small rise, it is significant given the short amount of time it occurred over, the researchers said. 

Young people, women and individuals from socially disadvantaged backgrounds were more likely to report worsened mental health during the lockdown. 

One in seven (14 per cent) of young adults had suicidal thoughts in mid-May, the study revealed.

One in ten people had suicidal thoughts by the end of the first six weeks of Britain’s lockdown, research has found. Rates were even higher in those under 30 (stock photo)

The study, which is published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, was funded by mental health charities the Samaritans, the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH), and the Mindstep Foundation. 

Three waves of participants between March and May were asked about pre-existing mental health problems, suicide attempts and self-harm, suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, feelings of defeat, feelings of entrapment, mental wellbeing and loneliness. 

ONE IN TEN AMBULANCE CALLS FOR MENTAL HEALTH IN LOCKDOWN 

Around one in 10 incidents attended by the London Ambulance Service (LAS) during the coronavirus pandemic involved mental health, figures show.

Of a total of 826,396 incidents attended between January and September, 81,644 (10%) had a mental health element.

Mental health incidents have increased each month since March, when the Covid-19 lockdown measures were introduced.

June saw the highest proportion of attended call-outs involving mental  health, making up 12 per cent of the total, or one in eight calls.

Last year, LAS staff and volunteers attended more than 105,000 incidents where patients were experiencing mental ill-health – roughly nine per cent of the total attended.

The LAS’s ‘mental health joint response car”’scheme involves six teams of a registered mental health nurse and paramedic being sent to patients in a mental health crisis.

The extended pilot saw an 80 per cent reduction in unnecessary trips to emergency departments in favour of more appropriate mental health care or referrals between January 19 and April 12.

LAS crews operating outside of the scheme discharged 41 per cent of patients at the scene with care or a more suitable referral, the LAS evaluation found.

Mental health nurses also work in LAS control rooms, offering advice on symptoms and helping decide whether a mental health car needs to be dispatched.

The rising number of mental health incidents is examined in the BBC One documentary Ambulance, which will air on Wednesday at 9pm.

In the episode, crews respond to a call about a suicidal patient pulled out of the River Thames by a passer-by, and help calm down a teenager who has been self-harming.

Keith, a paramedic, said: ‘Life can be difficult and overwhelming sometimes – that’s why it’s so important for people to reach out and talk to someone they trust.

‘Sometimes one conversation is all it takes for someone to get the help they need when they are struggling.’

On the March 23, a nationwide lockdown was announced by the UK government with the public instructed to stay at home to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Eight per cent of people in the first wave of the study, between March 31 and April 9, reported suicidal thoughts. 

This raised to 9.8 per cent by the end of May, once the lockdown had kicked in.

The figure was 14 per cent among young adults aged 19 to 29, up from 12.5 per cent.

The researchers said that even though the increases are relatively small, they are significant because of the short period of time they happened over. 

They said it is not possible to make direct comparisons with pre-Covid-19 rates.

But the average rate of suicidal ideation among young adults is higher than the 11 per cent reported by young adults in a British study published two years ago.

Suicidal thoughts in the whole sample are higher than those reported elsewhere, with 2.8 per cent reporting suicide ideation in one national study of adults in 2009. 

The research is considered one of the most detailed to date on mental health in the UK during the pandemic.

Professor Rory O’Connor, Chair in Health Psychology at the university’s Institute of Health and Wellbeing, who led the study, said: ‘While public health measures, such as lockdown, have been necessary to protect the general population, we know the effects of Covid-19 on the population’s mental health and wellbeing are likely to be profound and long-lasting.

‘The findings from our study, showing in particular the increasing rates of suicidal thoughts, especially among young adults, is concerning, and show that we must be vigilant to this at-risk group.’ 

Younger adults were more likely to report suicidal thoughts and higher levels of depressive symptoms than those aged 30-59 years and over 60.

Those aged 30-59 years reported higher rates than those over 60.

People from lower socio-economic backgrounds were more likely to experience suicidal thoughts compared to those in higher socio-economic groups.

And those with pre-existing mental health conditions were found to report suicidal thoughts more than those without.

More than one in four respondents, 26.1 per cent, experienced at least moderate levels of depressive symptoms. 

Despite the increase in suicidal thoughts and depression, other factors related to suicide risk such as symptoms of anxiety decreased across the same period.

Participants have been followed up throughout the pandemic, and further results will be published in the coming months.

Professor O’Connor said: ‘As we move through this pandemic, investigating the trajectory of mental health and wellbeing is crucial to giving us a better understanding of the challenges people face during this difficult time.

‘By having such analysis and information, we can formulate targeted mental health measures and interventions for those most in need as this pandemic continues, as well as being prepared for future.’  

Dr Liz Scowcroft, Samaritans Head of Research and Evaluation, said: ‘The findings from this study are stark and leave us with no doubt that Covid-19 has had a detrimental impact on the nation’s mental health.

‘However, it is important to remember that a rise in suicides is not inevitable. Suicide is preventable and these results demonstrate that it’s more important than ever that effective support is available for those who need it most.

‘As we continue to navigate our way through the pandemic, it is a priority for us to reach those struggling to cope and encourage them to seek help before they reach crisis point.’ 

For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123.   



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Glasgow Headlines UK Liverpool

Quiet bars and empty stadiums replace packed pubs and raucous crowds on derby day


The typical rowdy derby day atmosphere was today replaced by quiet bars and empty stadiums as the Merseyside and Old Firm matches were hit by coronavirus lockdowns in Glasgow and Liverpool. 

Football fans have not been allowed back into stadiums since football restarted in June and August for England and Scotland respectively.

And new coronavirus measures – putting Liverpool in a tier 3 lockdown and Scotland in the midst of a circuit breaker lockdown – also kept them off the streets and out of the pubs.

Under strict Tier 3 rules, all pubs and restaurants must close and offer only a takeaway service, while meeting anyone outside of your bubble is banned.

In Scotland, groups of up to six from two households can meet outside or indoors in public spaces, but pubs are banned from selling alcohol inside.

Pubs can sell alcohol outside until 10pm, provided the rule of six is adhered to.   

An empty Goodison Park provided the backdrop of today’s Merseyside Derby, which saw Everton take on Liverpool in their first clash of the 2020/2021 season. Unfortunately, there were no fans to witness the thrilling 2-2 draw

Celtic Way, the iconic avenue infront of Celtic Football Club's Park Park Head Ground, had a heave police presence ahead of the Old Firm Derby today to stop desperate fans from gathering near the stadium

Celtic Way, the iconic avenue infront of Celtic Football Club’s Park Park Head Ground, had a heave police presence ahead of the Old Firm Derby today to stop desperate fans from gathering near the stadium

Before coronavirus, a Merseyside derby would see Everton’s Goodison park full to its 39,500. The same goes for Celtic Park’s 60,000 capacity on any given Old Firm derby.

Today however, the stands lay silent, as did the most of the local pubs that would normally be booming, packed to the rafters with fans unable to get a ticket to their team’s derby games: Everton v Liverpool and Celtic v Rangers.

Riot vans and uniformed officers stood around all four corners of Goodison Park to deter Everton fans, but despite the police presence and restrictions, some fans fans still went to the ground for the 237th Merseyside derby.

In Glasgow, seven police vans were in attendance as the Green Brigade – Celtic’s ultras – let off flares and unfurled a banner as their team arrived at the stadium ahead of the match against their bitter rivals, but no arrests were made.

Liverpool and the Mersyside region are in the highest coronavirus tier 3 with people banned from mixing indoors with people they do not live with or in their support bubble. 

Fans were seen carrying crate of beer to friends’ houses to watch the game on TV as it was played behind closed doors, and there were queues outside The Winslow Hotel boozer by the main stand. Many pubs, however, stayed shut.

Before coronavirus, a typical Old Firm derby would see Celtic Park's 60,000 seat capacity filled. Pictured: Rangers and Celtic fans segregated during a 2017 Scottish Premiership match

Before coronavirus, a typical Old Firm derby would see Celtic Park’s 60,000 seat capacity filled. Pictured: Rangers and Celtic fans segregated during a 2017 Scottish Premiership match

Goodison Park's 39,500 seats are also typically filled when Liverpool - Everton's bitter local rivals - visit on derby day. Pictured: Goodison Park on derby day in 2019

Goodison Park’s 39,500 seats are also typically filled when Liverpool – Everton’s bitter local rivals – visit on derby day. Pictured: Goodison Park on derby day in 2019

Security guarded the entrance as police looked on, and fans had to book a slot to watch the game, but it was allowed to stay open because it serves food.

In Scotland, both Rangers manager Steven Gerrard and Celtic boss Neil Lennon earlier pleaded with fans of Rangers and Celtic to stay at home and not risk spreading Covid-19.

Celtic coach Neil Lennon said: ‘Don’t put yourself or anyone else in jeopardy,’ while Rangers boss Steven Gerrard said: ‘The priority here is fans’ safety and I urge them to stay at home.’ 

Liverpool and the Mersyside region are in the highest coronavirus tier 3 with people banned from mixing indoors with people they do not live with or in their support bubble. Pictured: A street in Liverpool lays quiet on derby day

Liverpool and the Mersyside region are in the highest coronavirus tier 3 with people banned from mixing indoors with people they do not live with or in their support bubble. Pictured: A street in Liverpool lays quiet on derby day

The iconic Bristol Bar, Duke Street, Glasgow, less than a mile from Park Head would normally be filled with Rangers fans on an Old Firm day but today was shut because of restrictions in Scotland

The iconic Bristol Bar, Duke Street, Glasgow, less than a mile from Park Head would normally be filled with Rangers fans on an Old Firm day but today was shut because of restrictions in Scotland

Hundreds of supporters n the east end of Glasgow ahead of the Old Firm fixture, and flares and smoke bombs could be seen as the team coaches headed to the stadium.

Cops were on hand as supporters chanted while walking up to Parkhead, and the incident was over quickly with police moving the group away from the stadium within minutes.

Many Rangers fans are thought to have travelled to England today, specifically to Blackpool to watch the match, worrying police and health officials as well as Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. 

Today: Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin scores their second goal in the Merseyside derby in front of an empty stand

Today: Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin scores their second goal in the Merseyside derby in front of an empty stand 

Connor Goldson celebrates scoring against Celtic at Celtic Park, also in front of empty stands

Connor Goldson celebrates scoring against Celtic at Celtic Park, also in front of empty stands

Speaking during the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing on Friday ahead of the match, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told fans not to travel to other parts of Scotland or to areas in England where such restrictions are not in force.

Ms Sturgeon said: ‘I’m afraid that watching football, no matter how essential it might feel to some, does not fall into that essential category.’

After the game, Superintendent Stevie Dolan said: ‘Despite there being no spectators, a policing plan was in place in case of any issues outwith the stadium. 

‘Disappointingly, despite the clubs, government and police asking people to do the right thing and stay away, a minority of fans did gather near Celtic Park ahead of the match and pyrotechnics were used. 

‘Our approach throughout the pandemic has been to engage with the public, explain the legislation and guidance, and encourage compliance, only using enforcement as a last resort. 

‘We will continue with that approach, but we will not hesitate to use enforcement action where it is necessary.’ 

Rangers fans outside Celtic Park celebrate their team's victory against Celtic during the Old Firm match in Glasgow. Ahead of the match, Celtic fans had gathered and let off flairs

Rangers fans outside Celtic Park celebrate their team’s victory against Celtic during the Old Firm match in Glasgow. Ahead of the match, Celtic fans had gathered and let off flairs

While pubs across Central Scotland are closed due to lockdown restrictions, some in Merseyside stayed open for the game.

Everton fans were seen sitting around tables full of beer glasses and tomato ketchup bottles in the Neville Southall bar, while several police officers visited the pub which has dubbed itself The Peoples Pub. 

One fan, who went outside to have a cigarette and as he watched local children kicking a ball against Goodison’s main stand, said: ‘It’s crammed in there. There’s not much tier three going on in there.’ 

Another, Sean Millar, 20, said: ‘There’s been a few bizzies come to speak to people behind the beer. There’s more than 50 fans in there for sure but it’s OK as they are serving food and you had to book a slot. I wasn’t going to miss the game.’ 

There were also a handful of fans watching the game with food at The Goodison Cafe next door, while some fans had decided to watch the game at friends’ houses surrounding Goodison Park. 

One said: ‘I’ve bought a box of beer and my mate just lives round the corner. It’s not as good as getting in but it’s better than nothing as I’m by the ground.’ 

One Berwick landlady wasleft furious after being threatened with closure by officers policing the town on the day of the Old Firm derby

One Berwick landlady wasleft furious after being threatened with closure by officers policing the town on the day of the Old Firm derby

Everton fan Liam Smith, 24, said: ‘It feels very strange with the streets empty. There’s police everywhere and everyone knows they shouldn’t mix but it’s the derby. Most fans are watching it at home with or with mates.’

Most match day pubs around Goodison were closed around the city. Across Stanley Park, pubs around Anfield were also shuttered up with the official Liverpool Supporters Bar closed.

Liverpool and Everton fans were seen watching the game in the Wiliam Gladstone pub. However council licensing officers were seen visiting pubs including Harrisons. 

In Scotland, one Berwick landlady was left furious after being threatened with closure by officers policing the town on the day of the Old firm derby.

Margaret Straughan, licensee of the Brewers Arms, said during the week she had fielded ‘hundreds’ of calls from supporters eager to catch the action and had chosen not to show the match.

Margaret Straughan, licensee of the Brewers Arms, said during the week she had fielded 'hundreds' of calls from supporters eager to catch the action and had chosen not to show the match

Margaret Straughan, licensee of the Brewers Arms, said during the week she had fielded ‘hundreds’ of calls from supporters eager to catch the action and had chosen not to show the match

But on the day itself most supporters appeared to have heeded the warning to stay away.

Although the centre of Berwick was busy with people for Market Day, very few football fans could be seen in the streets.

Odette Hume, landlady at The Red Lion, said she had been left feeling intimidated by the heavy police presence.

She told ChronicleLive: ‘I’ve had riot squads in today – very intimidating and threatening to close us down if we’re over our numbers.

‘We have a capacity of 60 and we’re currently at 42, which is certainly not over our numbers. I show every Rangers match, it’s a Rangers pub.

‘It makes me feel angry because Berwick police have been in before and they’ve always been happy with the seating. We have no trouble here.

‘There’s been a police car outside the pub for the last half hour and I just don’t feel comfortable. I’ve spoken to the chief inspector and expressed concerns about how the police were dealing with us.

‘They said I shouldn’t feel victimised and they were going round all the pubs, but it doesn’t make sense to have police coming from Sunderland and Gateshead with Covid-19 going on.’



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Coronavirus shame MP Margaret Ferrier ESCAPES police action over 800-mile journey while ill


Coronavirus shame MP Margaret Ferrier ESCAPES police action over 800-mile cross-Britain journey while ill because she took a test BEFORE new laws that could have seen her fined £4,000 came into effect

  • Police said the former SNP politician broke no rules in England on trip last month
  • She travelled while waiting for result of Covid test and again after positive result
  • But Health Protection Regulations 2020 came into effect day after she got home 

Covidiot MP Margaret Ferrier will face no police action despite travelling 800 miles across Britain while ill with coronavirus, Scotland Yard said today.

Detectives investigating the former SNP politician, 60, said that despite potentially infecting people on journeys between her Scottish constituency and London – where she spoke in Parliament – she broke no rules in England.

Ms Ferrier travelled by train while awaiting the results of a Covid test at the end of last month. She spoke in the Commons that night and then travelled back to Scotland the following day after being told the test was positive. 

The Metropolitan Police this afternoon said that because Ms Ferrier took a coronavirus test on September 26 – and travelled to London two days later – she could not face action under the Health Protection Regulations 2020, because they only came into effect on September 29.

The new law introduced a £4,000 fine for people who ‘recklessly’ breach lockdown. 

The Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP was stripped of the nationalist party’s whip and faces mounting calls to resign her £80,000-per-year job.

But she remains defiant and refuses to back down, blaming ‘muddled rules’ for her actions. 

She spoke in the Commons while ill before returning to Scotland, but blamed ‘muddled’ rules

A Scotland Yard spokesman today said: ‘Officers considered possible offences including those under Reg. 11(2) of the Health Protection Regulations 2020 which relates to self-isolation requirement.

‘However, on detailed examination of this new legislation, and following legal advice, it was concluded that this regulation is applicable only after the 28th September 2020. In this case the test occurred prior to the 29th September 2020 and therefore the regulation does not apply.

‘As such, there will be no further action in relation to this investigation from the Metropolitan Police.’

However, they added that they had referred the case to Police Scotland for consideration, so she may still face action there.

A spokesman for the force said: ‘We are aware of the decision by the Metropolitan Police. We will now assess the circumstances and consult with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service before taking a decision on next steps.’



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SNP Margaret Ferrier brushes off 800-mile round trip to Parliament with coronavirus symptoms


SNP Margaret Ferrier brushes off 800-mile round trip to Parliament with coronavirus symptoms as a ‘blip’ and blames ‘muddled’ rules as she clings onto £80,000-a-year job

  • The politician is yet to resign from Commons despite being stripped of SNP whip
  • Ms Ferrier, 60, has since said that Covid ‘makes you act out of character’
  • Scotland Yard previously confirmed that it was looking into her admission

SNP Margaret Ferrier has brushed off her 800-mile round trip to Parliament with coronavirus symptoms as a ‘blip’ and has instead blamed the ‘muddled’ rules. 

The politician, 60, is yet to resign from the Commons despite being stripped of the SNP whip amid calls for her to quit for putting people’s lives at risk.

She is now clinging to on to her £80,000-a-year job by claiming Covid ‘makes you act out of character’. 

Scotland Yard previously confirmed that it was looking into Ms Ferrier’s admission that she travelled 400 miles from Glasgow to London – while awaiting the results of a test – and then took the train back after being told it was positive.

SNP Margaret Ferrier has brushed off her 800-mile round trip to Parliament with coronavirus symptoms as a ‘blip’ and has instead blamed the ‘muddled’ rules

Ms Ferrier told The Sun on Sunday that she had ‘panicked’ but remained adamant that she had followed the rules correctly. 

Speaking of the backlash, she said: ‘You feel you’re getting a lot of criticism from people you thought were your colleagues or friends who would understand it was one blip.’ 

She travelled by train to London from Scotland while awaiting the results of a Covid test and then travelled back the following day after being told the test was positive. 

Images on her Twitter page showed her in several public places likely to have been busy on a Saturday, including the Vanilla Salon and South Lanarkshire Eastfield Lifestyle leisure centre in Rutherglen, and Sweet P gift shop in Burnside. 

Ms Ferrier said: ‘A lot of people say Covid makes you do things out of character. You’re not thinking straight.

‘At that moment, when I thought it would come back negative and it was positive, I was utterly shocked. You could have knocked me over… 

Ms Ferrier, 60, (pictured with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon) is yet to resign from the Commons despite being stripped of the SNP whip amid calls for her to quit for putting people's lives at risk

Ms Ferrier, 60, (pictured with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon) is yet to resign from the Commons despite being stripped of the SNP whip amid calls for her to quit for putting people’s lives at risk

‘It may be a serious error of judgment. I’m not denying that. People may be saying, “You should have known better, you’re a public figure” – but at the end of the day it still hurts. You then think is all that hard work and dedication just wiped away?’

Ms Ferrier went on to say that the regulations ‘have changed and have been so muddled’ in recent months.

She also slammed critics who have likened her to Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister’s aide, who travelled 260 miles to be near relatives at the height of the pandemic.  

Ms Ferrier could face a £4,000 fine for a first-time offence of ‘recklessly’ coming into contact with others when she should have been self-isolating under a law that came into force on the day of her positive test.  

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said earlier this week that he was ‘surprised, amazed and shocked’ that Ms Ferrier has not yet resigned.

He told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday her actions were ‘irresponsible and dangerous’.

Meanwhile, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has recently been under pressure to sign up to a recall petition that could force Ms Ferrier out of her job.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard has said Ms Sturgeon must support the move which could be triggered if she is suspended from the Commons for two weeks.

Under parliamentary rules, the MP would face a by-election if at least 10 per cent of her 81,000 constituents signed. 

Ms Sturgeon used a series of expletives and said her ‘head was in her hands’ on being told that her ‘friend and colleague’ had broken the law, sources told the Times.  

The Scottish First Minister also referred to Margaret Ferrier as ‘Margaret Covid’ in a blunder during press conference on Friday as she discussed when she first knew Ms Ferrier had flouted coronavirus restrictions.

She said at the time: ‘The first I knew about Margaret Covid, er, Margaret Ferrier having Covid was yesterday afternoon. I think people can imagine my reaction to hearing that.’

However, Ms Sturgeon had previously made exactly the same gaffe, stating: ‘Patrick Grady and the SNP didn’t know last Monday or Tuesday that Margaret Covid had suspected or then confirmed Covid.’



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The final hurrah in Scotland! Drinkers flock to bars in Glasgow and Edinburgh for one last night out


Drinkers in Scotland partied to closing time last night as they did anything but toast Nicola Sturgeon’s incoming 16-day alcohol ban.

Groups enjoyed the chance to have one final pint in Glasgow and Edinburgh before the sweeping restriction comes in at 6pm this evening.

Scotland’s First Minister imposed the two-week alcohol ban inside pubs and restaurants across the country and closed bars entirely in coronavirus hotspot areas.

It comes as punters were out and about in the North of England as it also faces tougher anti-Covid measures, with tens of thousands of venues across the region threatened with temporary closure from next week.

Two women make the most of their last chance to enjoy pubs for the next two weeks in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh on Thursday night

For some, the chance to have a final beer before the restrictions, was something to record on their phones for posterity (pictured, Glasgow)

For some, the chance to have a final beer before the restrictions, was something to record on their phones for posterity (pictured, Glasgow)

A woman holds up her phone as her friend brandishes her near-empty pint in Edinburgh on Thursday night ahead of new restrictions

A woman holds up her phone as her friend brandishes her near-empty pint in Edinburgh on Thursday night ahead of new restrictions 

Four friends share a joke and laugh during their night out in Edinburgh city centre on Thursday nights ahead of new restrictions

Four friends share a joke and laugh during their night out in Edinburgh city centre on Thursday nights ahead of new restrictions

Pubs and restaurants will have enjoyed a final night of custom ahead of the regulations, branded a 'death sentence' by some (pictured, Edinburgh)

Pubs and restaurants will have enjoyed a final night of custom ahead of the regulations, branded a ‘death sentence’ by some (pictured, Edinburgh)

The move in Scotland has been branded a ‘death sentence’ for hundreds of venues and has been slated by frustrated members of the public.

Ms Sturgeon took the unpopular decision after this week warning cases had started to surge among the older generation. 

She told MSPs at Holyrood that the situation was ‘better than March’, but admitted she needed to take a ‘backward step’ as she unveiled a dramatic ‘circuit breaker’ squeeze to coincide with the school half-term north of the border.

As well as a ban on serving alcohol, hospitality venues will only be allowed to open from 6am to 6pm as Ms Sturgeon said without the crackdown the virus could be ‘out of control by the end of this month’. 

But in five ‘hotspot’ areas in Scotland’s central belt, which includes Edinburgh and Glasgow and is home to approximately 70 per cent of the population, pubs will be closed altogether apart from takeaways until October 26 and people will be advised against using public transport. 

Hospitality bosses last night described the decision as a ‘total catastrophe’ that will be the ‘final straw,’ for hundreds of venues.

The lure of one final drink saw huge queues at some venues for people trying to have their last night out before the ban (pictured, Edinburgh)

The lure of one final drink saw huge queues at some venues for people trying to have their last night out before the ban (pictured, Edinburgh)

Five Edinburgh drinkers raise their glasses for a final time before the hospitality sector is hit tonight by the new rukes

Five Edinburgh drinkers raise their glasses for a final time before the hospitality sector is hit tonight by the new rukes

Groups walked home after their last drink in Edinburgh, bracing themselves for the 16 days of not being able to buy a pint inside a pub

Groups walked home after their last drink in Edinburgh, bracing themselves for the 16 days of not being able to buy a pint inside a pub

A group of mates smile for a photograph as they sink their pints in Edinburgh city centre last night ahead of new measures tonight

A group of mates smile for a photograph as they sink their pints in Edinburgh city centre last night ahead of new measures tonight

Sector chiefs said Ms Sturgeon had ‘effectively signed a death sentence for many businesses’ and said the ‘real problem’ was socialising at home.

The Scottish Licensed Trade Association told the Telegraph more than two-thirds of pubs, bars and restaurants ‘could be mothballed or go under’, along with more than half the sector’s jobs. 

Meanwhile, Mr Hancock appeared to pave the way for a similar localised crackdown on pubs in England as he said that ‘outside your household and socialising between households, the highest place in incidence of likely transmission, measured by where people have contacts, is unfortunately hospitality’.

However, a targeted shutdown of hospitality venues in hotspot areas appears more likely than a nationwide approach, with Downing Street still committed to its strategy of local lockdowns in specific areas where the virus has spiked.

Imposing some of the toughest restrictions in Europe, Ms Sturgeon said that if it was ‘a purely one dimensional decision’ about tackling the disease there would be even harsher action, but she was considering the wider economy and wellbeing.

But it provoked howls of protest from the hospitality industry, who branded the clampdown a ‘total catastrophe’ and warned a swathe of business will go under permanently.

Drinkers in Edinburgh share a final sup as they marked the final night before the coronavirus tackling rules were imposed

Drinkers in Edinburgh share a final sup as they marked the final night before the coronavirus tackling rules were imposed

In Edinburgh people made the most of their last night of freedom before Nicola Sturgeon's measures were due to hit today

In Edinburgh people made the most of their last night of freedom before Nicola Sturgeon’s measures were due to hit today

Hordes of drinkers headed home after closing time at 10pm in Glasgow city, ahead of the drinking ban coming in today

Hordes of drinkers headed home after closing time at 10pm in Glasgow city, ahead of the drinking ban coming in today

Some revellers took selfies of their last night of drinking before the strict regulations came in for parts of Scotland (pictured, Glasgow)

Some revellers took selfies of their last night of drinking before the strict regulations came in for parts of Scotland (pictured, Glasgow)

Sturgeon calls time: Scotland’s new Covid regulations in full

  • All pubs, restaurants and cafes barred from selling alcohol indoors for 16 days.
  • They will additionally face a curfew forcing them to close by 6pm each evening.
  • Outdoor bars, restaurants and cafes will be allowed to remain open up until 10pm and will be allowed to sell alcohol up to that time. 
  • In five areas of Scotland’s Central Belt – which includes Edinburgh and Glasgow – there will be additional restrictions on opening.
  • Pubs, restaurants and licenced cafes in the ‘hotspots’ of Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire & Arran, Lothian, and Forth Valley, will be forced to close to all but takeaway customers. 
  • The measures come into force at 6pm on Friday for 16 days until October 25.  
  • Residents of these areas have also been urged to avoid public transport unless absolutely necessary in the next two weeks. They should only use it to get to work, school or for other unavoidable journeys. 
  • Outdoor live events will be banned in the five areas for the next two weeks.
  • Snooker and pool halls, indoor bowling alleys, casinos and bingo halls will close in these areas for two weeks from October 10.
  • Contact sports and indoor group exercise for those aged 18 and over is suspended for the same period.
  • Face coverings will become mandatory in indoor communal settings.
  • An additional £40 million in funding will be made available to businesses impacted by the new restrictions.

The extraordinary step – which Ms Sturgeon said would be accompanied with £40million of new compensation for stricken firms – came as Scotland reported more than 1,000 new infections in a day.

Just south of the border, ministers were accused of using flimsy data after they relied on figures based on fewer than 100 pubs to justify the potential closure of tens of thousands of venues across the North of England.

No10 faced a concerted backlash from local leaders and MPs over plans to subject millions of people living in the North to even tougher restrictions from next week.

One Tory MP said the data had been ‘cobbled together’ to justify the pub closures, using a three-month-old survey carried out in the US as well as cherry-picked figures.

Sir Keir Starmer accused Boris Johnson of causing ‘confusion, chaos and unfairness’ by revealing the exact measures will be announced next week, while they are still being discussed.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty briefed 149 MPs from the North and the Midlands yesterday to tell them that a ‘significant proportion’ of exposure to coronavirus was happening in the hospitality sector.

He showed them a table which suggested that 32 per cent of transmission may be occurring in pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants, with only 2.6 per cent taking place in the home.

But the MPs complained the information was ‘selective’ and clearly serving the Government’s purpose. 

They pointed out how the NHS Test and Trace figures show a huge 75.3 per cent of transmissions take place home, with only 5.5 per cent happening in pubs, restaurants and churches.

It also emerged last night that the Public Health England data was based on a very small sample size.  It derived from contact tracing data referring to just 98 pubs and 67 cafes and restaurants.  

A PHE spokesman said each reported case referred to two separate Covid-positive patients who had been in the same venue within the past week. But the data is not able to assert if they caught the virus in the same place. 

A Department of Health spokesman said ‘enhanced’ contract tracing suggested the place of infection was in hospitality venues. 

Chris Whitty's claim that a ‘significant proportion’ of exposure to coronavirus was happening in the hospitality sector has come under fire. With one Conservative MP describing the Government's data as 'incredibly thin'

Chris Whitty’s claim that a ‘significant proportion’ of exposure to coronavirus was happening in the hospitality sector has come under fire. With one Conservative MP describing the Government’s data as ‘incredibly thin’ 

In Newcastle, crowds gathered outside Bijoux, a popular bar, as parts of northern England prepare for new rules to be enforced next week

In Newcastle, crowds gathered outside Bijoux, a popular bar, as parts of northern England prepare for new rules to be enforced next week

Sir Keir Starmer accused Boris Johnson of causing 'confusion, chaos and unfairness' by revealing the exact measures will be announced next week, while they are still being discussed. Pictured: revellers in Newcastle

Sir Keir Starmer accused Boris Johnson of causing ‘confusion, chaos and unfairness’ by revealing the exact measures will be announced next week, while they are still being discussed. Pictured: revellers in Newcastle

A group of friends walk down the street wearing Hawaiian-style leis as they walk through Newcastle Upon Tyne on Thursday night

A group of friends walk down the street wearing Hawaiian-style leis as they walk through Newcastle Upon Tyne on Thursday night

Groups of people, who appear not to be abiding by the government's rule of six, stand outside an Irish bar in Newcastle on Thursday night

Groups of people, who appear not to be abiding by the government’s rule of six, stand outside an Irish bar in Newcastle on Thursday night

Four men sit and stand in Newcastle city centre on Thursday night ahead of potential new measures to curb the virus in the North

Four men sit and stand in Newcastle city centre on Thursday night ahead of potential new measures to curb the virus in the North

Included in the dossier given by Chris Whitty was a Cabinet Office document marked ‘official sensitive’ which referenced a report from July from the US Centres for Disease Control.

The study found people that of the 154 people who had tested positive, they were around twice as likely to have dined at a restaurant in the previous two weeks before they experienced symptoms.  

One Tory MP from a Red Wall seat told The Telegraph: ‘It was very clear to everyone on the call that they had cobbled together this data as a retrospective attempt to justify closing pubs. 

The document that spilled the beans 

The controversial data quoted by Professor Whitty is based on an ‘enhanced contact tracing’ exercise, the Department of Health said. 

It asks people who they met – and where they met them. But it is based on a very small sample. 

If two infected people both tell tracers that they have been to a venue in the past week, it is seen as an indication, but not proof, that the virus may have been transmitted between them. 

But they don’t even have had to be there at the same time. 

The data shows there were 98 occasions where two or more people told contact tracers they had been to the same pub. 

Another 67 cases referred to people having been to the same cafe or restaurant. 

‘Given what we know from the official NHS figures, why are they quoting data from a tiny survey carried out in America? It’s just meaningless.’

Last night the British Beer and Pub Association warned the Government that the data was not good enough to justify the closure of pubs.

One expert suggested 7,000 venues across the North would be forced to close. But Downing Street denied that any decisions had yet been taken on lockdown measures. 

One Tory MP who attended the briefing said: ‘It is clear that the data to justify further action on hospitality is incredibly thin. It is so weak they can’t even publish it.’ 

Professor Whitty also appeared to suggest that the national 10pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants introduced last month was based on nothing more than the fact that other countries had imposed it. 

Last night northern politicians lined up to condemn the Prime Minister for the ‘reckless’ plan to close all pubs and restaurants in the worst-hit areas. 

Andy Burnham, the Labour mayor for Greater Manchester, told BBC Radio 4’s World At One: ‘I will not any more put up with a situation where they impose things on the North of England that will cause real damage to people’s lives.’ 

And Emma McClarkin, of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: ‘We are still yet to see the hard evidence in England that blanket measures to lock down pubs, with their strict adherence to government guidelines, will significantly stop the spread of the virus.’ 

But Ben Bradley, Tory MP for Mansfield, who took part in the call, said: ‘We talked about the North West and North East in particular, where we were talking about – in three weeks’ time – having hospitalisation levels higher than in the original peak.’

Meanwhile Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships Gillian Keegan said Britain was in an ‘unbelievably serious situation’.

She said the government had to act to stem the spike in coronavirus cases, saying to BBC: ‘This is serious – it is getting out of control, and we have to do something to bring it back under control.’

But she added: ‘We definitely need to work locally and we definitely need to make sure that the communications are much clearer.’

In Liverpool, many students and young people gathered in very close proximity to each other despite fears over rising infections

In Liverpool, many students and young people gathered in very close proximity to each other despite fears over rising infections

The British Beer and Pub Association warned the Government that the data was not good enough to justify the closure of pubs. Pictured: a night out in Newcastle on Thursday

The British Beer and Pub Association warned the Government that the data was not good enough to justify the closure of pubs. Pictured: a night out in Newcastle on Thursday

Chris Whitty suggested they merely followed other countries by imposing a 10pm curfew, suggesting they had no data themselves to back up the new measures

Chris Whitty suggested they merely followed other countries by imposing a 10pm curfew, suggesting they had no data themselves to back up the new measures

Last night northern politicians lined up to condemn the Prime Minister for the 'reckless' plan to close all pubs and restaurants in the worst-hit areas. Pictured: students out in Liverpool on Thursday

Last night northern politicians lined up to condemn the Prime Minister for the ‘reckless’ plan to close all pubs and restaurants in the worst-hit areas. Pictured: students out in Liverpool on Thursday

A man blows smoke as he vapes in the city centre of Manchester as Downing Street said new data suggests there is 'significant' transmission taking place in hospitality settings

A man blows smoke as he vapes in the city centre of Manchester as Downing Street said new data suggests there is ‘significant’ transmission taking place in hospitality settings

Steve Rotheram, the mayor of the Liverpool City Region, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: ‘Quite simply the North should not be a petri dish for experimentation by central government.’ 

Sir Keir Starmer also wrote in The Telegraph, saying how people are facing a ‘weekend of uncertainty’ because of the delay in announcing the new three-tier system.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick yesterday came close to confirming that action is looming. 

‘It is correct to say the number of cases in the North West and the North East and a number of cities, particularly in the Midlands like Nottingham, are rising fast and that is a serious situation,’ he said. 

‘We are currently considering what steps we should take, obviously taking the advice of our scientific and medical advisers, and a decision will be made shortly.’ 

He added it was ‘commonsensical’ that the longer people spent in pubs together, the higher the risk of infection was, as he backed the 10pm curfew.

Altus Group, a real estate advisor, estimated that 7,200 pubs in the North could be closed down – one in five of all English pubs.

Last night a Government spokesman admitted that the ‘early analysis’ did not constitute proof of transmission. 

‘We are seeing coronavirus cases rise across the country, with particularly fast growth in the North East and North West,’ he said. 

‘We constantly monitor the data and are considering a range of options to suppress the virus, protect communities and save lives.’



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Many Scottish pubs ‘won’t survive’ Nicola Sturgeon’s alcohol ban warns industry


Businesses across Scotland face ruin today in the wake of Nicola Sturgeon’s draconian two-week alcohol ban. 

The First Minister yesterday announced a ban on pubs and restaurants from serving alcohol indoors in Scotland for at least 16 days from Friday. 

Hospitality venues will only be allowed to open from 6am to 6pm and in five ‘hotspot’ areas including Edinburgh and Glasgow, pubs will be closed altogether apart from takeaways until October 26 and people will be advised against using public transport. 

Experts across the hospitality sector are now warning they face financial ruin and ‘tens of thousands of job losses’ amid the ‘horrific’ restrictions. 

CEO of UK hospitality Kate Nicholls today warned the £40 million of funds pledged by the Scottish Government to help the sector was simply not enough. 

She added: ‘In Scotland, £40million in 16,000 licenced premises equates to just over £2,000 for those people – it barely keeps the lights on let alone saves a job.’

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday announced a ban on pubs and restaurants from serving alcohol indoors in Scotland for at least 16 days from Friday

The number of daily cases in Scotland has risen from under 300 two weeks ago – when a ban on households mixing indoors was introduced – to see 1,054 reported today

The number of daily cases in Scotland has risen from under 300 two weeks ago – when a ban on households mixing indoors was introduced – to see 1,054 reported today

In other twists and turns in the coronavirus crisis today:  

  • Boris Johnson faced fury from Northerners and a massing Tory revolt today after it emerged he will plunge 10million people in Covid hotspots into even tougher lockdown restrictions next week, shutting pubs and restaurants. 
  • The leader of Nottingham council leader has voiced alarm at the delay in announcing tighter restrictions to control a surge in the area until the traffic light system is announced on Monday. Labour’s David Mellen said he feared people would have a ‘blow out’ weekend in expectation of the crackdown; 
  • Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick refused to cite scientific evidence for the 10pm pubs curfew, merely saying it was ‘commonsensical’;
  • Mr Jenrick hinted that the government could soon urge workers to wear masks in offices, saying the idea had ‘benefits’ and would be considered by the Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty;
  • A leading scientist has voiced alarm at speculation people could be reinfected with coronavirus, saying that could mean the problem is around ‘forever’

Sturgeon calls time: Scotland’s new Covid regulations in full

  • All pubs, restaurants and cafes barred from selling alcohol indoors for 16 days.
  • They will additionally face a curfew forcing them to close by 6pm each evening.
  • Outdoor bars, restaurants and cafes will be allowed to remain open up until 10pm and will be allowed to sell alcohol up to that time. 
  • In five areas of Scotland’s Central Belt – which includes Edinburgh and Glasgow – there will be additional restrictions on opening.
  • Pubs, restaurants and licenced cafes in the ‘hotspots’ of Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire & Arran, Lothian, and Forth Valley, will be forced to close to all but takeaway customers. 
  • The measures come into force at 6pm on Friday for 16 days until October 25.  
  • Residents of these areas have also been urged to avoid public transport unless absolutely necessary in the next two weeks. They should only use it to get to work, school or for other unavoidable journeys. 
  • Outdoor live events will be banned in the five areas for the next two weeks.
  • Snooker and pool halls, indoor bowling alleys, casinos and bingo halls will close in these areas for two weeks from October 10.
  • Contact sports and indoor group exercise for those aged 18 and over is suspended for the same period.
  • Face coverings will become mandatory in indoor communal settings.
  • An additional £40 million in funding will be made available to businesses impacted by the new restrictions.

UK Hospitality executive director for Scotland Willie Macleod has already warned many businesses will not survive the new measures, with tens of thousands of job losses possible.

But Deputy First Minister John Swinney insisted ministers had to act as coronavirus cases surge again – particularly in the central belt.

In five health board areas across central Scotland – Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Lothian, and Forth Valley – temporary restrictions mean pubs and licenced restaurants will have to close from Friday and will only be permitted to operate takeaway services.

In all other areas, pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes can only operate indoors between 6am and 6pm, and will not be allowed to serve alcohol – although they can still sell drink until 10pm outside.

Mr Macleod said the impact on affected businesses ‘is going to be horrific’.

He told BBC Breakfast: ‘It’s coming at a very difficult time of year. 

‘There’s never an easy time of year, but we’re reliant on tourism as well as local customers, we’re just going into the mid term holiday period and customers in Scotland and elsewhere are absolutely uncertain now about whether to continue with their holiday bookings.

‘Closing bars and restaurants is going to have a massive impact on businesses that are really just climbing back from a prolonged period of lockdown, they’ve reopened with reduced capacity to cope with social distancing, they were then hit by the 10pm curfew and with reduced demand and reduced consumer confidence business resilience is as low as it can be.

‘Many businesses won’t survive and I’m afraid we’re going to see tens of thousands of job losses by the time we do the final count on all of this.’ 

The Scottish Chambers of Commerce has warned the measures – the toughest imposed in the UK – will ‘sound the death knell for businesses across the hospitality sector, especially pubs and bars’.

And the Scottish Hospitality Group, which represents several restaurant and bar groups, claimed the First Minister has ‘effectively signed a death sentence for many businesses across the Scottish hospitality industry, while the real problem is socialising at home’.

The Scottish Government has pledged £40 million of funds to help the sector through the restrictions, which will be in place from Friday until Sunday October 25.

But Kate Nicholls, CEO of UK hospitality, warned the sum was not enough. 

Last orders: Punters drink outdoors in Pitlochry after Nicola Sturgeon announced the measures yesterday

Last orders: Punters drink outdoors in Pitlochry after Nicola Sturgeon announced the measures yesterday

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘On average you’re looking at £15,000-£25,000-a-week that the average outlet takes as revenue. 

‘In Scotland, £40million in 16,000 licenced premises equates to just over £2,000 for those people – it barely keeps the lights on let alone saves a job.’

Mr Swinney said ministers had had to ‘dig deep’ to find the extra cash to support the sector.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme, he said: ‘It is not extra resources we have had from the UK Government, we have had to dig deep into our own resources to find the money to support the hospitality sector through what I accept is going to be a difficult period for them.

‘But we are doing that because we must take wider action to protect the public interests in these circumstances.’

He said the Government has to ‘stop the opportunities for interaction where the virus can spread, that appears to be emerging from some aspects of the hospitality sector’.

A Scottish Government evidence paper published on Wednesday shows that between the end of July and the beginning of October, more than a quarter (26%) of those who tested positive for Covid-19 reported having been in hospitality.

Mr Swinney said: ‘I appreciate the challenges and difficulties faced by the hospitality sector, it is why the Government has put financial support in place.

‘The advice we published yesterday demonstrates that if we don’t take any further action, the virus is spreading at a rate that will see us by the end of this month have a prevalence of the virus back to levels we had in March, and the Government simply cannot allow that to happen.’ 



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Scottish MP Margaret Ferrier gave a CHURCH READING while displaying Covid symptoms


George Kerevan used a newspaper article to suggest his friend had been subjected to a ‘feeding frenzy’ by the press

Disgraced coronavirus MP Margaret Ferrier went to mass and gave a five-minute reading while ill, it was revealed today as the fallout from her dangerous actions created a rift in the SNP.

The 60-year-old attended St Mungo’s catholic church in Glasgow on Sunday September 27, sitting at the front and speaking to the congregation, the day after taking a Covid-19 test because she was feeling unwell.

She was stripped of the SNP whip last week and faces a police probe after admitting she travelled 400 miles from her Rutherglen and Hamilton West seat to London to attend the Commons the following day.

She then made the return journey on the Tuesday morning – after receiving a positive test result.

But despite risking the health of the public and politicians she has so far resisted calls from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and others  from across politics to resign her seat and trigger a by-election.

The SNP was mired in division today after one of her allies said she had been abandoned to ‘trial by media’.

George Kerevan used a newspaper article to suggest his friend had been subjected to a ‘feeding frenzy’ and suggested that in some ways it had been ‘heroic’ to go to London. 

The 60-year-old attended St Mungo's catholic church in Glasgow on Sunday September 27, sitting at the front and speaking to the congregation, the day after taking a Covid-19 test because she was feeling unwell

The 60-year-old attended St Mungo’s catholic church in Glasgow on Sunday September 27, sitting at the front and speaking to the congregation, the day after taking a Covid-19 test because she was feeling unwell

Ms Ferrier was stripped of the SNP whip and sparked a huge alert in Westminster last week after admitting travelling from Glasgow to the capital and back by train - a round trip of some 800 miles - while ill with coronavirus

Ms Ferrier was stripped of the SNP whip and sparked a huge alert in Westminster last week after admitting travelling from Glasgow to the capital and back by train – a round trip of some 800 miles – while ill with coronavirus

Ms Sturgeon yesterday repeated her call for Ms Ferrier to go, mistakenly calling her ‘Margaret Covid’ at a press conference.

Writing in the independence-backing The National newspaper, former East Lothian MP Mr Keravan admitted she was guilty of a ‘lapse of judgement’ to travel to London, which was made ‘a thousand times worse’ when she went back to Scotland by train the next day.

But he added: ‘As a result, her political career is dead in the water, whether she resigns her seat or not. 

‘All that said, I feel deeply for Margaret and find much of the virtue signalling and rush to consign her to political outer darkness both hypocritical and a blatantly self-serving.  Margaret Ferrier, in my experience, always put the job before her personal convenience.

‘I can perfectly understand her motivation in travelling down to London and Westminster – something few SNP MPs do with any relish. 

‘She went there – ill-advised as her decision was – to give her Scottish constituents a voice and to try to hold the incompetent, flailing, useless, arrogant, racist ‘government’ (I use the word loosely) of Boris Johnson to account.

‘Personally, I find that somewhat heroic.’ 

The St Mungo’s revelation was revealed in Scotland’s Daily Record newspaper. 

Ms Ferrier sparked uproar last week when she revealed she travelled by train to London from Scotland on September 28 while awaiting the results of a Covid test taken the previous weekend, and then travelled back the following day after being told the test was positive. 

The Metropolitan Police is investigating the journeys along with British Transport Police over potential breaches of the Health Protection Regulations 2020. 

Ms Ferrier could face a £4,000 fine for a first-time offence of ‘recklessly’ coming into contact with others when she should have been self-isolating under a law that came into force on the day of her positive test.   

Yesterday Ms Sturgeon repeated her appeal to Ms Ferrier to resign her seat and trigger a by-election, while defending her party’s handling of the case, saying it had ‘acted to the maximum of what we can do’.

Ms Ferrier had the whip removed when her trips became public but the party has no power to strip her of the seat she won in 2019, having previously represented it between 2015 and 2017. 

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie called for the use of the recall process to unseat Ms Ferrier if she refuses to stand aside.

She would have to be suspended from the House of Commons for at least 10 sitting days, or at least 14 days if sitting days are not specified.

A by-election could then be forced if 10% of her constituents in Rutherglen and Hamilton West signed a recall a petition.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard has called for Ms Ferrier to be expelled from the SNP.



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Former Sunday Telegraph editor Sir Peregrine Worsthorne has died aged 96


Former Sunday Telegraph editor Sir Peregrine Worsthorne – who caused a storm when he uttered the F-word on national television – has died at the age of 96.

The journalist, writer and broadcaster spent 36 years with the Telegraph – the majority of which was with the Sunday edition, which he edited for three years between 1986 and 1989.

Mr Worsthorne, universally known as ‘Perry’, had previously worked at the Times and the Glasgow Herald.

In an obituary published today, the Telegraph described Mr Worsthorne, who died on Friday, as being’ among the most unpredictable and provocative columnists of his generation, as well as the most stylish’.

His unpredictability was famously highlighted in March 1973 when he uttered the F-word on television.

Journalist, writer and broadcaster Sir Peregrine Worsthorne spent 36 years with the Telegraph – the majority of which was with the Sunday edition, which he edited for three years between 1986 and 1989 

At the time he only the second person to do so, after Kenneth Tynan.

The incident happened on BBC magazine programme Nationwide when Mr Worsthorne was asked what he thought the British public would think about then defence minister Lord Anthony Lambton being caught in bed with two prostitutes in a sting by the now-defunct News of the World.

He replied: ‘I shouldn’t think they give a f***.’

The comment was said at the time to have infuriated the Telegraph’s then owner – who banned him from broadcasting for several months – while the incident landed on the front page of all the morning newspapers the next day.

The BBC, who were said to have been ‘bombarded by protests’, made an apology.

Mr Worsthorne (pictured with wife Lucinda Lambton), universally known as 'Perry', had previously worked at the Times and the Glasgow Herald before joining the Telegraph

Mr Worsthorne (pictured with wife Lucinda Lambton), universally known as ‘Perry’, had previously worked at the Times and the Glasgow Herald before joining the Telegraph

However, Mr Worsthorne later defended his comment, saying: ‘There is a possibility it was not spontaneous. To the best of my knowledge it was the mot juste (the exact right word).’  

Born in Chelsea, London, on December 22, 1923, was the younger son of General Alexander Lexy Koch de Gooreynd, a Belgian banker who had served his country in World War One.

His mother was Priscilla Reyntiens, a London councillor and board member and supporter of mental health institutions, who was the granddaughter of the 12th Earl of Abingdon.

His parents separated when he was six and he scarcely saw his father again. His mother later married Montagu Norman, the then governor of the Bank of England.  

Mr Worsthorne attended the independent Stowe School in Buckinghamshire before winning a scholarship to Cambridge University.

The Second World War broke out during his studies and he was called up to the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry – but injured his shoulder in training.

After recovering, he returned to war service, taking part in Operation Phantom during the Allied campaign in Italy, before finishing his studies at Cambridge.

He earned his first job in journalism at the Glasgow Herald in 1946, working there for two years before moving on to the Times.

He became a correspondent in Washington from 1950 to 1952, before joining the Telegraph in 1953.

In 1961, Mr Worsthorne was appointed as the first deputy editor of the new Sunday Telegraph, rejecting an offer of an editorship at the Yorkshire Post in the process – a decision he expressed some regret about in later autobiographies.

Mr Worsthorne, who was knighted in 1991 for services to journalism, was married twice. After his first wife died in 1990, he married the architectural writer Lucinda Lambton (pictured with him receiving his honour in 1991)

Mr Worsthorne, who was knighted in 1991 for services to journalism, was married twice. After his first wife died in 1990, he married the architectural writer Lucinda Lambton (pictured with him receiving his honour in 1991)

Mr Worsthorne was an associate editor of the paper between 1976 and 1986, before finally realising his dream of becoming the editor of The Sunday Telegraph that year.

He was demoted three years later by the Telegraph’s chief executive Andrew Knight.

Mr Worsthorne continued writing a column for the paper until 1997.

During his time at the Telegraph, Mr Worsthorne, a life-long Conservative supporter, showed support for a return to colonisation, mourned the decline of the British Empire and was criticised for his views on homosexuality.

He wrote an editorial piece in 1982 criticising politician Roy Jenkins for his tolerance of ‘queers’ and clashed with Sir Ian McKellen during a BBC Radio Three debate – prompting the actor to announce that he was gay. 

He also clashed with Andrew Neil, then the editor of the Sunday Times, after he wrote a column comparing modern editors to playboys – which centred on Mr Neil’s relationship with former Miss India, Pamella Bordes.

Mr Neil sued for defamation and was awarded £1,000, while his newspaper, which also sued, was awarded its then cover price of 60p.

Mr Worsthorne later said he was ‘teasing’ and that he did not expect Mr Neil to sue.  

Mr Worsthorne, who was knighted in 1991 for services to journalism, was married twice, first to Claudie Bertrande Baynham, in 1950, with whom he had a daughter, Dominique, and stepson David.

After his wife died in 1990, he married the architectural writer Lucinda Lambton. The couple lived in Buckinghamshire. 



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