As cases across Scotland continue to rise Nicola Sturgeon has admitted the nation’s exit out of coronavirus lockdown restrictions is not ‘set in stone’.
The First Minister expressed her confidence that Scotland may well be able to move to Level 0 from July 19 but stressed many restrictions will still be in place – unlike the ‘fully-open’ plans for England unveiled by Boris Johnson
The current roadmap out of lockdown proposes a further lifting of the restrictions from August 9 although Ms Sturgeon said there will still be “some baseline measures in place” such as face masks being required in many situations.
She also confirmed that in light of the impact of the vaccine rollout the Scottish Government is reviewing the policy on self-isolation, including for school pupils. She said:
“The number of coronavirus infections in Scotland is higher than we want them to be right now and higher than we should be comfortable with, but we may be seeing a stabilisation and a slowing-down of the rate of increase.”
Looking ahead to the easing of restrictions Ms Sturgeon said:
“The question is what pace do we take to get to the end point, how safely do we do it and – to be blunt – how many lives are going to be lost, how many people are going to end up in hospital between now and then?
“That means there is a need for care and caution and, perhaps more than any other time in all the years I’ve been First Minister, my job is not to take the easy or popular decisions, my job is to take the tough decisions that are most likely to get us through this safely.”