Scottish Government
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First Minister address to the nation

"COVID-19 is the biggest challenge of our lifetimes."

In recent days, we’ve been asked to make changes to our lives that would have been unimaginable a few weeks ago.

COVID-19 is the biggest challenge of our lifetimes.

The number of cases is set to rise sharply.

We must do all we can to slow it down and save lives.

So I want to talk to you directly about what we can all do to help - and offer some words of reassurance in what I know is an anxious time.

All of us must act now to slow the spread of the virus.

Washing our hands regularly is important.

But we must also reduce the number of people we meet and come into contact with.

That means staying at home if you or anyone in your house has a high temperature or a new and persistent cough.

For all of us, it means working from home if possible; avoiding public transport and not socialising in groups.

We’ve also asked people to stay away from crowded places like pubs, restaurants and cinemas.

But I can confirm that, in light of advice this afternoon from our scientists and the Chief Medical Officer that there must be strict compliance for that to be effective. I am now asking restaurants, cafes, pubs, gyms and cinemas to close.

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