PUBS and restaurants are to temporarily close in five health boards while premises across the rest of the country face new curfews, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The First Minister gave an update to the Scottish Parliament this afternoon as the nation’s coronavirus cases, hospitalisations and deaths continue to increase.

Yesterday Sturgeon ruled out a full March-style lockdown, but stressed action had to be taken to slow the spread of the virus.

From Friday at 6pm to Sunday 25 October the following restrictions apply:

All licensed premises in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley must close for 16 days both indoors and outdoors. Takeaways will be permitted.

Cafes with no alcohol licence can stay open until 6pm.

In those areas snooker and pool halls, indoor bowling alleys, casinos and bingo halls must also close for the same period. Indoor group exercise activities will also banned for over 18s. Gyms remain open for individual exercise.

Outdoor live events will not be permitted in the five regions. People living in those areas should also avoid public transport unless it is absolutely necessary.

People living in the five health board areas should not travel outwith their health board areas, while people living in other parts of Scotland should not travel to the areas.

Nationwide, with the exception of those five health boards, pubs, restaurants and cafes will be able to operate indoors on the restricted hours of 6am to 6pm, for the service of food and non-alcoholic drinks only.

Bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes can continue to serve alcohol outdoors up to the existing curfew time of 10pm.

Hotel restaurants can operate beyond 6pm, but only for residents and with no alcohol being served.

The Scottish Government is also introducing regulations to extend the mandatory use of face coverings in indoor communal settings, including staff canteens and corridors in workplaces.

The First Minister set out the reasoning behind the decisions.

She told the Chamber: "I know that the vast majority of pubs, bars and restaurants have worked exceptionally hard over the last few months to ensure the safety of their staff and customers. I am grateful to them for that.

"However the evidence paper published today sets out why these settings present a particular risk. The R number seems to have risen above 1 approximately three weeks after the hospitality sector opened up. We know that more than 1/5 of people contacted by test and trace, report having visited a hospitality setting.

"That makes sense from what we know about how the virus is spread.

"Indoor environments, where different households from different age groups can mix, inevitably present a risk of transmission. That risk can be increased, in some hospitality premises, if good ventilation is difficult, and if it is hard to control the movement of people. And the presence of alcohol can of course affect people’s willingness to physically distance.

"For all of these reasons, significantly restricting licensed premises for 16 days temporarily removes one of the key opportunities the virus has to jump from household to household. It is an essential part of our efforts to get the R number significantly below 1."

The First Minister acknowledged the restrictions will have a “significant impact” on many businesses.

She added: “I can announce that we are making available an additional £40 million to support businesses that will be affected by these measures over the next two weeks. We will work with the affected sectors - especially hospitality – in the coming days to ensure that this money provides the most help, to those who most need it.”