Scotland will go into full lockdown from midnight on Monday night, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced on Monday.
People will only be allowed to leave their homes for essential reasons, such as going to work if teleworking is not possible. In addition, people will only be allowed to meet with one other person from one other household.
Schools will also be closed with immediate effect, and places of worship will be closed as well.
The lockdown will be in place until 31 January to try and curb the spread of the new strain of coronavirus found in the UK.
“in the past few weeks, there have been two significant game changers in our fight against this virus,” Sturgeon said. “One, the approval of vaccines is hugely positive and it does offer us the way out of this pandemic. But the other, the new faster spreading variant of the virus is a massive blow.”
“Possibly, the most simple way of explaining the challenge we face right now, is to compare it to a race. In one lane, we have vaccines, and our job is to make sure they can run as fast as possible,” she said.
“It is no exaggeration to say that I am more concerned about the situation we face now than I have been at any time since March last year,” Sturgeon added.
In the meantime, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also set to announce new measures in a televised address at 8:00 PM GMT (9:00 PM Brussels time).
“The prime minister is clear that further steps must now be taken to arrest this rise and to protect the NHS and save lives,” said a Downing Street spokesperson, adding that “he will set those out this evening.”
The UK has counted nearly 2,600,000 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic, according to the WHO, and more than 74,000 deaths.