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

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:


A range of new emergency powers is expected to be passed by MSPs to allow the justice system to cope during the coronavirus crisis.

A Bill will be debated at Holyrood today that will allow a judge to hear and decide on serious crimes without a jury giving a verdict.

It also allows for prisoners to be released early if the virus starts to spread though the prison population.

READ MORE:Coronavirus latest update

The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said the early release of prisoners was a contingency plan, a power only to be used as a “last resort”.

Michael Russell, Constitution Secretary, said it was necessary to allow all efforts to focus on dealing with reducing the spread of the virus.

Mr Russell said: “We are in an emergency and these are emergency powers that are necessary to allow us to concentrate on the absolute priority of dealing with the pandemic.

“Some of these measures are about the continuing function of the justice system and public services to maintain public confidence and to keep our communities safe.

READ MORE:Cancer screening suspended in coronavirus crisis

“For example, we cannot simply summon juries at present - that would be completely impossible.”

Prisoners on life sentences and those convicted of sexual offences will not be released.

Not all parties are in agreement on suspending jury trials.

The Liberal Democrats said they will oppose the move when parliament meets.

Alex Cole-Hamilton LibDem justice spokesman said: “It’s not safe for juries to be in close proximity at the moment, but this problem is not insurmountable.

“Jury trials should be suspended, as they have been in England and Wales, while we find new places courts can meet where jurors are at a safer distance from one another.”

Ms Sturgeon revealed the daily coronavirus death total has increased by 13 to 60 in Scotland.

The number of cases in Scotland has risen by 430 to 1993.

She said there were 1073 suspected cases in hospital and 135 were in intensive care with the virus or with symptoms an increase of 27 in 24 hours.

In Greater Glasgow the number of confirmed positive cases increased to 547 up from 449.

In England A total of 1,651 people who have tested positive for coronavirus in England have died, up 367 from 1,284 on Monday, NHS England said.

Nicola Sturgeon also said more help was being made available to tackle domestic violence during the coronavirus crisis.

Ms Sturgeon said £1.5m from the £350m communities fund was being given to Scottish Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis Scotland to provide services.

She said: “there is a real risk that women at risk of domestic abuse will feel more vulnerable. I want to ensure people know anyone who needs support can e-mail or call. People who are suffering domestic abuse don’t need to wait to get that help.”

Dr Marsha Scott, chief executive of Scottish Women’s Aid, said: “Some women who live with an abuser will feel increased anxiety around the prospect of self-isolation and social distancing, or even quarantine, in a house with an abuser.

“Or, for the many victim/survivors who do not live with their abusers, they may feel an increased level of fear at the prospect of their abuser knowing that they are at home and the possibility for further surveillance that this creates.”

The Bill, to be rushed though Holyrood in a day, will increase the minimum notice period for eviction from three months to six months.

The Greens want no eviction notices served during the crisis.

Andy Wightman Green MSP said: “No-one should be in receipt of a notice to quit during the emergency period.”