The Scottish government has announced that 11 council areas will be placed under tighter restrictions from Friday, November 20, in order to address the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). From Friday, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Sterling, West Dunbartonshire, and West Lothian will be placed under level four restrictions, the highest in Scotland's five-tier system which includes a level zero, until December 11. Under level four restrictions, non-essential indoor retail premises and hospitality venues will close. Members of the public area also encouraged to remain at home or close to home as much as possible with those who can work from home doing so. Schools will remain open. A full list of local restriction levels can be found here. The wearing of face masks is mandatory in all commercial and hospitality premises open to the public, in addition to public buildings, and entertainment venues, and places of worship.
As of Wednesday, November 18, there have been 1,414,359 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the UK with 52,839 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell, or a rash on the skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.