Coronavirus

Concern at big groups and house parties breaking Scotland’s new lockdown rules

By Ellen Thomson at

Health secretary Jeane Freeman has warned Covid-19 will spread again if people ignore the rules on safe distancing.

At the daily briefing on Sunday, Ms Freeman said there had been reports of more than two households meeting.

There had also been reports of house parties and large gatherings of people.

Coronavirus latest

Reports of large parties and more than two households meeting. Image: Google

She said: “If we don’t respect these rules then the virus will begin to spread again.

“I know that a majority of people are following the rules and the law.

“But we have heard and seen some reports this weekend of more than two households meeting, house parties taking place, and of large gatherings outdoors.

“None of that should be happening. It puts you and others at risk.”

The health secretary spelled out again the new guidance that came into effect in Scotland on Friday.

She said: “Essential advice continues to be: stay at home – that is the best way of stopping the virus.

“I know that it is hard in the good weather, but it is essential.

“The reasons you can leave your home are exceptions, they are not the norm.

‘If we don’t respect these rules then the virus will begin to spread again.

‘I know that a majority of people are following the rules and the law.

‘But we have heard and seen some reports this weekend of more than two households meeting, house parties taking place, and of large gatherings outdoors’

Jeane Freeman

“If you are meeting people outside there should be no more than two households in any group.

“And ideally, no more than eight people.

“Each household should socially distance from the other – and also from any other groups that are in the same place as you.

“And you should not meet with more than one household once in a day.

“Remember also that every person you meet could pass the virus to you and you could pass the virus to them, even if you feel well.”

She said: “Remember the basic precautions you should take: wash your hands, cough or sneeze into your elbow or disposable tissue, and try to avoid touching your face.

“Don’t touch shared surfaces such as park benches or play parks.

“And if you can, wear a face covering in shops and on public transport.

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People could pass the virus onto someone else even if feel well and are not showing symptoms. Image: Google

“Please don’t travel more than five miles from your home.

“And don’t crowd beauty spots, rural locations or small villages.

“Car parks in many of these locations remain closed.

“They are closed for a reason: to stop crowding. Please don’t ignore that.

“And please don’t go indoors. Being in someone else’s house must still be avoided, unless you are providing support to someone who is vulnerable.

“Fundamentally, life may feel a little less restricted but it should not feel normal.

“I know these restrictions remain tough, but they are necessary.”

Reports on social media have suggested large crowds have been enjoying the sunshine at parks including Kelvingrove.