A BBC radio presenter ended a call with a listener this morning as they branded Nicola Sturgeon “Scotland’s Hitler” for introducing new restrictions on the hospitality sector.
The First Minister announced tighter new measures aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus yesterday, as the country recorded its highest ever daily total of more than 1000 cases.
Sturgeon said action had to be taken quickly in order to prevent infection rates returning to pre-lockdown levels seen in March.
The new restrictions including all pubs and restaurants in Scotland’s central belt needing to close both indoors and outdoors from 6pm on Friday.
READ MORE: Medics warn pandemic returning to March peak in weeks if immediate action not taken
These rules apply in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley health board areas.
Meanwhile across the rest of Scotland pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes cannot serve alcohol indoors, and can only open from 6am-6pm for provision of food and non-alcoholic drinks.
Outside of the central belt licensed premises can serve alcohol outdoors until the 10pm curfew brought in last month.
The measures will last for 16 days until October 25.
Stephen Jardine held a call-in this morning on BBC Radio Scotland where listeners had the chance to discuss the new restrictions.
One caller, Jimmy, told the presenter he was fearful that indoor gatherings would increase as a result of the measures.
He told Jardine: “She’s going half-way. She’s telling public they can’t open, you can go to supermarkets and you can get whatever drink you want.
“We’ll see what the figures reveal over the next 16 days, how much house parties have gone up.”
The host asked the caller if he believed the measures could stall the spread of Covid-19.
Jimmy replied: “Well, I’ve heard in the last week when people were talking about was there a possibility, I’ve heard them referring to Nicola Sturgeon as Scotland’s Hitler.”
Jardine paused for a second before asking: “Well who said that?”
The caller said “folk in pubs” had been making the comparison. Jardine cut Jimmy off: “That’s an outrageous thing to say. An absolutely outrageous thing to say.”
READ MORE: Scotland lockdown: Nicola Sturgeon confirms hospitality closures and curfews
When the caller began complaining about the new restricted opening hours again, the presenter said: “Yep, Jimmy, okay. Let’s just leave it there. I’ve never heard anyone say that and I think that’s an absolutely outrageous accusation.”
The next caller thanked Jardine for ending the call over the comment.
Yesterday the Scottish Government’s medical advisers published a 14-page document warning that Scotland’s coronavirus transmission rate is currently the highest in the UK, while the R number is as high as 1.7. They said cases are doubling every nine days.
The report, written by the chief medical officer Gregor Smith, the chief nursing officer Fiona McQueen and the national clinical director Jason Leitch, warned of the “risk” from hospitality.
They said: “Generally this setting involves people of different ages with different individual risk profiles mixing with other households, or being seated in close proximity to other households, for more than 15 minutes.
“Depending on the nature of the premises, ventilation may be a problem and controlling the movement of people within the premises is difficult.
“Keeping surfaces clean is another challenge. Raised voices may be more likely in a crowded environment and the wearing of face masks may not be possible, presenting additional risks.
“A key risk factor is the one metre distancing arrangement, as evidence suggests that one metre distancing carries between two and 10 times the risk of two metre distancing.”
They went on: “The risks in hospitality are exacerbated by some behaviours. As people will generally visit with family or friends they will naturally be less concerned about distancing and this behaviour will also be influenced by the disinhibiting impact of alcohol.”