The First Minister has addressed speculation that those south of the border may face another national lockdown before Christmas. 

Nicola Sturgeon has assured that the prevalence of coronavirus is lower in Scotland than in other parts of the UK, after it was announced England may be considering stringent measures from next week. 

Yet, she emphasised that decisions taken in England are "clearly not irrelevant" to the Scottish Government's considerations. 

In a social media post, she wrote: "Prevalence of the virus is currently lower in Scotland than in other parts of the UK and there are early signs that the tough restrictions in place since we moved quickly in late September have started to slow the rate of increase.

"We will base decisions on circumstances here - though what happens just across our border is clearly not irrelevant to our considerations.

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"In coming days, @scotgov will consider data on the spread of the virus, as we always do, and take account of any developments in England."

And the availability of financial support may dictate restrictions taken. 

Ms Sturgeon added: "Amongst other factors, this consideration will have to include whether any financial support will be available now as a result of steps in England, which would not be guaranteed to Scotland later.

"Most importantly, we urge everyone to comply with current restrictions, including on travel.

"People should not travel to or from level 3 areas in Scotland and for now, we are asking people not to travel to or from England at all, except for essential purposes."

"Above all, we will do our best - in difficult circumstances - to arrive at the best and most rational decisions we can, with the priority of protecting health and lives."

The Times reported earlier today that the Prime Minister is expected to announce new measure for England which would come in place on Wednesday and last until December 1.

No final decisions have been made but the measures could see all non-essential shops close.