LONDON, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Monday announced a fresh lockdown in the British region from midnight, ordering people to stay at home until the end of January amid "very serious" coronavirus concerns.
Sturgeon made the announcement after the Scottish parliament, known as Holyrood, was recalled to discuss further measures due to "a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases" causing "very serious concerns".
Scotland will enter a fresh lockdown at midnight Monday (0000 GMT Tuesday) after the region was placed under very strict restrictions last March, she said.
Sturgeon described the situation as "extremely serious" and said the new lockdown would last for the "duration of January".
There will be a legal requirement for people to stay at home for the rest of January, she said, adding that she was "more concerned about the situation we face now than I have been at any time since March last year".
Meanwhile, Sturgeon also announced she would keep schools closed until Feb. 1, except for vulnerable children and those whose parents are key workers.
Some 1,905 new cases were reported in Scotland on Monday, with 15 percent of new tests returning positive results, according to the latest figures released by the Scottish government.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to make a televised address to the nation at 2000 GMT on Monday to outlie further steps to tackle the rising coronavirus cases in England.
As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in some countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.
Meanwhile, 232 candidate vaccines were still being developed worldwide -- 60 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, France, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to the World Health Organization.