NICOLA Sturgeon has addressed the nation as new coronavirus rules come into force.

The First Minister spoke about several key issues at the Scottish Government’s briefing.

She was joined by Interim Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Nicola Steedman and Chief Constable Iain Livingstone.


Sturgeon she was "so sorry" for students in halls during the pandemic. The First Minister, whose own nephew is in first year, also assured students they were not to blame for the spread of the virus.

University students were asked to avoid hospitality businesses this weekend – for one weekend only – by the Scottish Government and Universities Scotland.

The First Minister said: "I am so sorry, so heart sorry, that this time of your lives is being made as tough as it is just now – I really feel for you, but I feel especially for those of you starting university for the first time and, of course, living alone for the first time.

"This is an exciting time in your lives but I remember from my own experience that it's also a time of adjustment and it's also a time of home sickness as well, and that's the case for students every year without Covid-19 but it is much more difficult given the circumstances you are all facing right now."

READ MORE: Pubs ban is not to stigmatise or blame Scotland's students, minister says

The FM urged students not to visit other households and asked them not to go to bars and restaurants over the September weekend, as well as download the Protect Scotland app.

She added: “I want to stress that no-one should think, or be under the impression that the Covid threat right now is just a university problem … Transmission of Covid is increasing generally across the country, and let's remember that the increase in cases started before the return of universities."

Travel warning

Sturgeon issued a reminder of new travel restrictions and cautioned Scots about October holiday plans.

Four additional countries have been added to the list of those subject to quarantine restrictions – Denmark, Iceland, Slovakia and Curaçao. That means that from tomorrow, people travelling to Scotland from these places must self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to Scotland or arrival here.

The FM said: “That's another reminder of how quickly levels of this virus in any country can change and are changing right now, so I'll say again – please avoid non-essential overseas travel at the moment and think carefully about unnecessary travel anywhere right now. That advice applies not just to this moment in time but to any plans you might have for the October school break.”

House parties

Police chief Livingstone announced additional officers will be deployed to ensure hospitality venues comply with the new 10pm curfew tonight. He gave credit to the “vast majority” of premises which have acted with the “greatest responsibility” throughout the pandemic.

The National:

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Livingstone joined the First Minister in send condolences to the police officer shot dead in a Croydon police station in the early hours of this morning.

“As we've seen so tragically today in London, officers and staff continue to put themselves in harm's way to protect their fellow citizens. I am grateful and pay heartfelt tribute to them and their families, for the commitment over this period to public service, and the dedication to help people.”

The Chief Constable also had a message for the minority of people who “flagantry disregard the rules”.

He said: “As of now, there is a legal duty on all of us, subject to legitimate exemptions, not to visit other people's houses.

“What is absolutely clear, absolutely clear, is that house parties and house gatherings are not permitted under any circumstances. There can be no excuse for arranging when attending a house party. You must not organise, host or attend a house party or gathering – it is against the law.

“Where officers encounter blatant, wilful breaches, we will act decisively. We will act to enforce the law.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus in Scotland: 558 new cases recorded amid university outbreaks

He condemned "utterly disgraceful" abuse suffered by staff and officers trying to keep the public safe during the pandemic. 

Flu jabs

Dr Steedman raised fears about the potential combination of flu and coronavirus as winter approaches.

The National:

READ MORE: Plea for Scots to get flu jab to avoid coronavirus dual threat in winter

She said: “We've always worried that the combination of both flu and Covid together would be an even more serious one for us all. We now know that in that respect our concerns are justified.”

She pointed out two studies which show the potential dangers of contracting both viruses, adding: “Taking those two large studies together, you probably don't need me to tell you that getting flu and Covid together is likely to be extremely serious.”

Steedman urged all Scots to make use of free flu vaccinations.

She concluded: “Please, if you or any of your loved ones are eligible, take up the offer of a flu vaccination this year.

“And I'm speaking to everyone who is eligible, but especially perhaps those of you who haven't bothered in the past, including some of my fellow health care workers, I know. Now you have even more reasons to do this to protect yourself to protect your loved ones, your patients or those that you care for and to guard against combined really serious effects of flu and Covid infection.”