Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's first minister and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP). Image Credit: Bloomberg

Edinburgh: Scotland is to impose a nationwide coronavirus lockdown for the rest of January because of a surge in cases, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced on Monday.

"We have decided to introduce from midnight (0000 GMT Tuesday), for the duration of January, a legal requirement to stay at home, except for essential purposes. This is similar to the lockdown of March last year," she told the Scottish parliament.

The move by the devolved government in Edinburgh will heap fresh pressure on UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to follow suit, given pressures on health services from a new variant.