Coronavirus lockdown could be eased in Scotland by end of the month

  • london
  • May 18, 2020
  • Comments Off on Coronavirus lockdown could be eased in Scotland by end of the month

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Coronavirus lockdown measures could start to be eased within days of May 28 in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

By the end of the month Scots could be able to meet up with someone from another household, visit garden centres and participate in some sports if progress against the virus continues.

Speaking at the latest Scottish Government coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh, the First Minister said 2,105 patients have died in Scotland after testing positive for coronavirus, up two from 2,103 on Sunday.

She issued a note of caution over the death figures, saying although these can be registered at the weekend, registrations tend to be lower.

Ms Sturgeon said a “route map” will be published on Thursday for the path out of lockdown in Scotland.

She said the reproduction rate of the virus will be outlined, along with taking into account the findings of the weekly National Records of Scotland (NRS) report.

If progress is made in reducing the spread of the virus, the First Minister said changes to lockdown restrictions could made after the next review date, May 28.

Mitch Wilkins is tested at a drive through testing facility for COVID-19 at Edinburgh Airport as Nicola Sturgeon considers beginning lifting lockdown restrictions from May 28 (PA)

The First Minister said: “Within a few days of that, we will aim to allow, for example, more outdoor activity such as being able to sit in the park, meet up outdoors with someone from another household as long as you stay socially distant, some limited outdoor sporting activities like golf and fishing, the opening of garden centres and recycling facilities, and the resumption of some outdoor work.”

She said more information will also be given about when schools might reopen.

Ms Sturgeon told the briefing: “Within two weeks, my hope is that we will be taking some concrete steps on the journey back to normality.

“As I’ve said before, it won’t be normality as we knew it because the virus will not have gone away but it will be a journey to a better balance – I hope – than the one we have today.

“As we take each step, we must make sure that the ground beneath us is as solid as possible.

“That’s why sticking with the lockdown restrictions a bit longer to suppress the virus more is so important because that will mean we can start to take these steps with the confidence that we have alternative means of effectively keeping it under control.”

A total of 14,594 people have tested positive for Covid-19, the Scottish Government confirmed, a rise of 57 on Sunday’s figure of 14,537.

The First Minister said there are 1,427 patients in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, up 119 from 1,308 on Sunday.

Of these, 63 are in intensive care, a rise of four.

The First Minister said for the moment there is no change to the lockdown advice currently being circulated by the Scottish Government.

She also announced an expansion in testing to anyone over the age of five with any of the symptoms.

It comes as countries across Europe have begun easing stay-at-home orders in their countries.

Italy reopened its shops, restaurants and bars this morning to the public and sunbathers have been able to return to beaches on the French and Greek coasts.