The Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon acknowledged at today’s press briefing that Scots were feeling “frustrated” and facing the “difficulty” of following her stay at home message. The SNP leader rejected Boris Johnson’s call to lift lockdown restrictions this week, as people across England returned to work. She was grilled about this approach, as one reporter questioned whether she would give regions in Scotland the same power to split from her own lockdown orders.
Peter MacMahon, political editor of ITV Border, pointed to new figures on COVIDー19 from NHS Dumfries & Galloway, which showed the R number on May 8 was 0.75, compared to 0.98 in Scotland as a whole.
He tweeted: “There is also evidence from National Records of Scotland of lower death rates in the south of Scotland.”
During the press briefing he said: “The south of Scotland shows a lower R number. If you agree that Scotland should be able to follow its own course is there not a strong case for parts of Scotland to follow their own course?
“Such as hospitals in the south of Scotland going back to routine operations and easing restrictions there before the rest of Scotland?”
Ms Sturgeon refused to rule out a regional split inside Scotland in lifting lockdown restrictions but said she was not allowing it “at the moment”.
She responded: “We don’t rule that out but we are not yet proposing the varied regional approach.
“I’ve never ruled out regional variations within Scotland if evidence back it and we can enforce it in a readily understandable and practical way. But at the moment we’re not proposing it.”
Earlier today, Police Scotland warned people against joining a series of “peaceful mass gatherings” this weekend against Ms Sturgeon’s refusal to relax restrictions like Boris Johnson.
The planned mass gatherings, organised as protest picnics, are being lined up to take place across Scotland this weekend.
Police are “strongly” urging people not to attend the events, which are advertised to take place on Saturday in cities including Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen and Edinburgh.
Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We have been made aware of these leaflets and would strongly urge people not to take part.
“The Scottish Government’s guidance is clear – people should only leave the house for very limited purposes, for example for basic necessities, such as food and medicine, for exercise, for medical needs or travelling for work which cannot be done at home.”
Ms Sturgeon opened her press briefing by announcing that another 34 people have died in Scotland after testing positive for coronavirus.
This brings the total in Scotland to 2,007.
Ms Sturgeon added that 14,117 people have tested positive for the virus in Scotland, up by 188 from 13,929 the day before.
There are 71 people in intensive care with coronavirus or coronavirus symptoms, an increase of one on Wednesday.
Published at Thu, 14 May 2020 12:43:00 +0000