COVID-19: Lockdown easing delayed in Scotland with restrictions to stay in place till 19 July, says Nicola Sturgeon

2021-06-22 19:22:00

The present COVID-19 restrictions in Scotland will stay in place till 19 July after a 40% improve in new circumstances within the final week, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has mentioned.

The Scottish authorities’s unique plan was for the whole nation to maneuver to Stage 0 from 28 June, however Ms Sturgeon has confirmed the present guidelines will stay in place for 3 extra weeks.

The revised route map will see all areas of Scotland which haven’t already finished so transfer to Stage 0 from mid-July, at which level the bounds on family gatherings indoors will improve.

Additionally it is hoped that the two-metre social distancing requirement will be diminished to 1 metre on this date “assuming the information helps this”, the primary minister mentioned.

And the Scottish authorities plans to elevate all main remaining authorized coronavirus restrictions on 9 August if doable, she instructed MSPs.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon welcomes Prime Minister Boris Johnson outside Bute House in Edinburgh
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The plan is now for each England and Scotland to calm down restrictions on 19 July

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Ms Sturgeon made the announcement at Holyrood on Tuesday as a part of the newest assessment of the nation’s route map out of lockdown.

She mentioned the three-week postponement to lockdown easing was all the way down to rising case numbers, after 2,167 circumstances had been recorded in Scotland prior to now 24 hours – the best day by day determine since 8 January.

“Assuming we’re assembly the revised strategic purpose, we hope that every one components of Scotland, not at the moment in that stage, can transfer to Stage 0 on 19 July,” Ms Sturgeon mentioned.

“Meaning, for instance, that the bounds for family gatherings indoors will improve from that date, and as much as 200 individuals will have the ability to attend weddings and funerals.

“We additionally hope – assuming the information helps this – that the final indoor bodily distancing requirement will be diminished from two metres to 1 metre.

“And we hope, from that date, to elevate the outside requirement to bodily distance.

“As well as – in recognition of the diminished danger of outside transmission and due to this fact the will to encourage individuals to remain outside as a lot as doable – we hope that limits on casual outside social gatherings, in non-public gardens for instance, may also be eliminated at this stage.”

The primary minister added that she believes plans to elevate the remaining restrictions on 9 August are each “doable and proportionate”.

“Our evaluation – on stability and assuming we meet the required situations on vaccination and hurt discount – is that it will be doable and proportionate to elevate the most important remaining authorized restrictions on 9 August,” she instructed parliament.

“We’ll think about and make a last evaluation nearer the time of whether or not – as we hope – this might embody the lifting of the authorized requirement to bodily distance indoors in addition to outside.”

Ms Sturgeon added: “The transfer past Stage 0 will probably be a significant milestone and it’ll sign a return to virtually full normality in our everyday lives.

“After all, whereas it is a longed-for second, you will need to recognise that we nonetheless have a troublesome path to navigate over the subsequent few weeks to fulfill these milestones and, even assuming we do, the pandemic is not going to be utterly over at this stage.

“As our Strategic Framework Replace paper units out, fundamental mitigations will nonetheless be required, as we transfer by summer season and into the autumn, after we face the chance of an extra resurgence in circumstances.”

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The primary minister additionally introduced that the rapid return of all employees to workplaces when restrictions are lifted is not going to be really useful by the Scottish authorities, with a phased strategy taken as an alternative.

“Whereas recognising {that a} return to the office will probably be proper for a lot of, we’ll encourage continued assist for dwelling working the place it’s doable and acceptable,” Ms Sturgeon mentioned.

“This may not simply help with management of the virus, it’s going to additionally assist promote well-being extra typically.

“Nonetheless, I believe many would agree that, as a normal precept, home-working ought to be extra doable post-COVID than it was earlier than.”

Ms Sturgeon instructed MSPs the 19 July date for the easing of restrictions in Scotland is feasible because of the success of the vaccination programme, including that every one precedence teams in Scotland can have been totally vaccinated by this Sunday.

The highest 9 precedence teams set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) embody everybody over the age of fifty, with underlying well being situations and unpaid carers, and symbolize 99% of all COVID deaths through the pandemic.

A member of the public is given their first vaccine jab at Edinburgh's Western General Hospital (file pic)
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Nicola Sturgeon says the entire high 9 precedence teams ought to have been double vaccinated by 18 July

“The truth that nearly all of them will probably be totally vaccinated by the top of this week is massively important,” the primary minister mentioned.

The brand new date for the easing of restrictions in Scotland is now consistent with England, after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson postponed the lifting of lockdown by 4 weeks earlier this month.

Final week, the primary minister had hinted that it was “unlikely” that any space would see restrictions eased on the unique 28 June date.

Stage 0 is just at the moment in place within the island authorities of Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles, with all mainland areas having both Stage 1 or Stage 2 restrictions utilized.

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Supply by [earlynews24.com]