Scotland may 'unlock certain areas before others' says expert
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Linda Bauld, professor of Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, warned viewers that Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is planning on “dividing” Scotland up into different coronavirus zones. She claimed Ms Sturgeon could be poised to offer lockdown freedoms to “some parts of Scotland” which others could be denied. Her comments come ahead of Nicola Sturgeon’s speech in Holyrood on Tuesday where she will lay out Scotland’s plan of action amid concerns the UK is in the early stages of a third wave.
Prof Bauld said: “We are hearing from our First Minister about whether we will be moving to level one – most of the country.
“That means more people meeting up in doors, more hospitality.
“Venues that are currently shut like soft play opening.”
But she warned: “And it seems to me that what we will probably hear from her is that some parts of Scotland can do that and others can’t.”
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She added: “So I think June 21st is still a few weeks away.
“I would really still like to see another four weeks data to be very confident that the chain between rising cases and admissions to hospital is really, really weakened.
“So in a perfect world, I think we wait another few weeks.
“But I also recognise the calls from all the sectors that are currently shut.”
Lockdown: ‘Significant chance’ plans could change says expert
Sturgeon is set to announce stricter lockdown measures for areas affected by the Indian coronavirus variant.
The move would see the worst affected areas in Scotland, such as Glasgow, unable to move into the next level of lockdown easing which permits up to eight people (or three households) to meet indoors.
The First Minister has warned the city may have to stay in Level 2 restrictions for “a couple of weeks” before it is able to move to Level 1 in a glum outlook for Glaswegians.
The change to Scotland’s lockdown easing roadmap will put pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to delay the next easing of lockdown measures in England, which is due to occur on June 21.
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Scotland, who follow a different lockdown easing timetable to England, was due to move into Level 1 restrictions from June 7, which would allow up to eight people from three households to meet indoors in pubs, cafes and bars but the Indian variant kicked this date back.
Up to 12 people from 12 different households would also be permitted to socialise outside in gardens or outdoor public places.
Concerns over the new Indian variant, which now accounts for around three quarters of all covid cases in the UK, has made the government hesitant on the planned June 21 lockdown easing date which many fear will be moved.
The First Minister will announce lockdown plans in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday afternoon at around 2:15pm.
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