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Approximately 2.3 million people will be placed under Scotland’s toughest Covid-19 lockdown restrictions from 6pm on Friday (November 20) until December 11.

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that 11 council areas – East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, Renfrewshire, West Dunbartonshire, North and South Lanarkshire, East and South Ayrshire, Stirling and West Lothian – will be moved into Level Four.

Level four restrictions means a total ban on meeting other households indoors and the closure of all non-essential shops, pubs, restaurants and gyms, although schools will remain open.

Convenience stores are considered essential and will not have to close.

Those living within Scotland’s toughest tiers – Level 3 and 4 – could be arrested if they try to leave, ‘except for certain essential purposes’.

Ms Sturgeon said: “The infection rate in all of these areas remains stubbornly and worryingly high.

“At these levels, we simply do not have the assurance we need that hospital and ICU services will be able to cope as we go deeper into winter.”

She said the “short, sharp” move to level four would allow restrictions in the affected areas to be eased “much more quickly” than they would be if they remained in level three.

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