Scotland's papers: 'Lockdown by stealth' as Christmas curbs announcedPublished15 December 2021Shareclose panelShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingImage caption, After new Covid rules were announced, The Herald reports that the Scottish government has been accused of implementing "lockdown by stealth". People in Scotland have been asked to limit socialising to three households at a time in the run-up to Christmas.Image caption, The curbs have been brought in to save Christmas, according to the Daily Record. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told Holyrood the advice would not apply on Christmas Day and that plans should not be cancelled. But she said people should reduce their social contacts with other households "as far as possible".Image caption, The i says Ms Sturgeon called for a "careful Christmas". She said: "Before and immediately after Christmas, please minimise your social mixing with other households as much as you can." People should try to keep their festive celebrations "as small as your family circumstances allow" despite the new guidance not applying on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or Boxing Day, the first minister added.Image caption, The Telegraph reports that the guidelines limiting social mixing to three households will not be legally enforceable, but Nicola Sturgeon said people should reduce their social contacts with other households "as far as possible".Image caption, The National stresses the FM's insistence that she is not cancelling Christmas. She told MSPs: "I want to be clear: I am not asking anyone to cancel Christmas, but I am asking everyone, in the run-up to Christmas and in its immediate aftermath, to reduce as far as possible - to a minimum - the contacts that we have with people from other households."Image caption, The three households guidance also features on the Metro's front page.Image caption, The announcement that people should reduce their social contacts with other households "as far as possible" in the run-up to Christmas also leads the Daily Express.Image caption, The Daily Star goes for a pun as its headline - "Nicola wants yule of three". The paper tells its readers "to stick to mixing drinks... not mixing with others".Image caption, A festive pun also is The Sun's headline - "Oh Christmas tree" - while noting that the first minister has stepped back from "major legal curbs". The guidelines on social mixing will not be legally enforceable, but Ms Sturgeon warned: "Although it is guidance, please do not think of it as optional." However, there is a legal requirement for employers to enable staff to work from home where possible.Image caption, The Scotsman focuses on the impact on hospitality, with shops and hospitality venues told to bring back physical distancing and screens.Image caption, Keeping Christmas small is the message from the Scottish Daily Mail. Its headline is: "Have yourself a merry little Christmas".Image caption, Calculations by The Times suggest that more than a million people could be isolating with coronavirus on Christmas Day given the rapid speed with which the Omicron variant is spreading. It quotes a "downbeat" presentation to top ministers by England's chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty, who warned of the "very sharp rise" in Omicron cases and that comfort should not be drawn from suggestion that the strain was less severe or from "unreliable hopes" that infections were peaking in South Africa.Image caption, The Press and Journal reports that business leaders are branding new work from home laws and Covid restrictions as a "lockdown by the backdoor", and warn that without immediate aid they pose an "existential threat" to Scotland's city centres.Image caption, The Edinburgh Evening News says pubs and restaurants have been warned they face a worse Christmas than last year, with many venues fearing they will go out of business after more than 18 months of disruption.Image caption, The Courier reports that Perth head office jobs at the bus giant Stagecoach are at risk, under takeover plans by transport rival National Express. The merger is backed by Stagecoach co-founder Sir Brian Souter, who remains a major shareholder.Image caption, The Glasgow Times reports that a man "terrified" two young women after he "followed them around Glasgow whilst staring at them on a number of occasions".Image caption, Dundee's Evening Telegraph reports that a man has been hospitalised after allegedly being assaulted.Image caption, Aberdeen player Funso Ojo has been charged in connection with an alleged assault on a fan after a game against Dundee United, according to the Evening Express.Related Internet LinksHerald ScotlandThe ScotsmanDaily RecordThe Scottish SunThe TimesThe NationalDaily Mail OnlineScottish Daily ExpressDaily StarAberdeen Evening ExpressDundee Evening TelegraphEdinburgh Evening NewsGlasgow Evening TimesThe BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.