Nicola Sturgeon bans all outdoor drinking in mainland Scotland and tightens rules on click-and-collect services

Nicola Sturgeon has announced it will be illegal to consume alcohol outside in mainland Scotland while click-and-collect services will be scaled back, as she set out a tightening of the coronavirus lockdown in Scotland..

In an update to the Scottish Parliament, the first minister insisted the situation “remains very precarious and extremely serious”, adding that 1,794 people were now in hospital with Covid.

While she said there may be some evidence the lockdown is having an effect, Ms Sturgeon said further steps were needed to “slow” the virus and reduce case numbers.

She said the cabinet had agreed six changes to the regulations, including limiting the availability and operation of click-and-collect services. Only retailers selling essentials, such as clothing, baby equipment and books, will be able to offer collection services.

The first minister said people will also be barred from entering hospitality businesses for takeaway services, meaning all sales of food and drinks must take place from outside the premises.

On the consumption of alcohol, she revealed it will be illegal to consume alcohol outside in all level four areas, including take-away pints, from Saturday.

The Scottish government, she added, would also strengthen the laws requiring employers to allow staff to work from home, as she urged workers to remain at home “wherever possible”.

Guidance previously issued to only allow essential work in people’s houses will now be placed into law, Ms Sturgeon said.

“We have already issued guidance to the effect that in Level 4 areas work is only permitted within a private dwelling if it is essential for the upkeep, maintenance and functioning of the household,” she said. “We will now put this guidance into law.”

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