Shops are closing. Newspaper sales are falling. But we’ve chosen to keep our online journalism free because it’s so important that the people of Glasgow stay informed during this crisis.

To help us get through this, we’re asking readers who can afford it to contribute either £3, £5 or £8 a month to the Glasgow Times.

If you choose to sign up, we’ll also take away all the adverts – and deliver a digital version of the print paper to your device. Click here to help Save Your Times:

POLICE now have powers to enforce the coronavirus rules on staying at home and closing non-essential businesses.

Nicola Sturgeon announced the bill has had Royal Assent and is now law.

She said she hopes the powers will not need to be used but warned those flouting them could be ­prosecuted.

The toughening of the lockdown comes as the First Minister revealed another sharp increase in positive coronavirus cases and more deaths.

Three more people died between Wednesday and yesterday, taking the total in Scotland to 25.

The number of positive cases ­increased by 175 to 894. If the rise continues at the same rate there will be more than 1000 within 24 hours.

However, Ms Sturgeon said: “As always, let me be clear that these numbers will be an underestimate.”

In Greater Glasgow health board area, the number of cases at 9am yesterday had increased overnight to 258, up from 221 on Wednesday.

READ MORE: Glasgow City Council job cuts on hold due to coronavirus as unions hit out

The First Minister said: “They will help to enforce the rule that there should be no public gatherings of more than two people, ­except where those people are from the same household, or in other limited circumstances such as ­responding to an emergency or work-related purposes where that is genuinely essential.

“They will also enforce the ­restrictions on people staying at home.

“It will now be the rule that you should only be outside for a reasonable purpose – such as buying food or essential household or medical supplies; travelling to or carrying out essential work; exercising once a day; or providing care or assistance to others.”

She said police can direct people to return home and those in breach could be subject to a prohibition notice and if they do not comply they could be fined or prosecuted.

With reports of some non-essential businesses still open, Ms Sturgeon said: “We are now preparing regulations to give police in Scotland enforcement powers.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Glasgow Costa staff donate four months of stock to NHS

“The regulations give us the power to enforce rules which most people are now following anyway. I thank people across the country for their compliance.

“Where necessary, the regulations will require the closure of listed businesses and premises and will help to ensure social distancing is enforced by those businesses and premises which are able to continue operating.”