Nicola Sturgeon warns of new enforcement laws if Scots continue to flout lockdown rules

1 June 2020, 14:23

By Fraser Knight

Nicola Sturgeon has warned guidance given around the lifting of the coronavirus lockdown could become law if people continue to flout the rules.

Guidance in Scotland says people should stay within five miles of their homes when they go outside, but the limit is not currently in law.

Nicola Sturgeon said the weekend showed huge groups of people flouting that rule and warned if that continues, the Scottish Government will give police powers to impose it.

The First Minister said: “The changes we announced are the maximum ones we thought it was safe to make at this stage.

“If we thought it was safe to go further we would have gone further but we didn’t.

“If anybody goes beyond this very gradual change we announced, then collectively we are starting to behave in a way which is unsafe, and we are at risk of the virus increasing again.”

Over the first weekend of restrictions being eased in Scotland, road use was up by 70 per cent and police had to disperse around 800 groups of people – a figure five times higher than last weekend.

The Scottish Government guidance says people from two different households can meet up outdoors in groups of no more than eight people, while maintaining social distancing.

The warm weather over the first weekend of restrictions being eased saw dozens flock to parks, beauty spots and the coast with residents living near Ayr Beach complaining of people not paying attention to the rules.

Andrea McGregor told LBC News: “We’ve been inundated with day-trippers. The amount of litter that’s been left is absolutely disgusting.

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“Nobody seemed to be paying any heed to the Government guidance and their just seemed an air of madness”

And with more people being allowed out of their homes at the weekend, Police Scotland’s Deputy Chief Constable says more than 1000 arrests were made across the country.

DCC Will Kerr said: “During the last 72 hrs, policing and supporting communities across Scotland, we managed 32,099 calls from the public, 8,073 of which were 999 calls and we attended 15,773 wide-ranging incidents nationwide.

“With more people out and about, crime rates have been increasing too. These are undoubtedly challenging times, but mutual trust and respect - between the public and their police service - remains the foundation of policing by consent in Scotland.”

2,363 deaths where patients tested positive for Covid-19 have now been confirmed in Scotland.