Nicola Sturgeon in plea for Scots to stick with lockdown over holiday weekend (Image: via REUTERS)
Breaking lockdown measures over the bank holiday weekend could see plans to ease the restrictions delayed, Nicola Sturgeon has warned.
The First Minister used her daily coronavirus briefing to say the one thing that will slow the lifting of lockdown is “taking our foot of the brake” too quickly, leading to a resurgence of the virus.
Stage one of the Government’s four-phase plan to lift lockdown is scheduled to begin on May 28, with Scots then allowed to meet people from outside their own household, sunbathe and take part in some non-contact sports like golf.
But Ms Sturgeon stressed the lockdown message to “Stay at home” remains in place this weekend.
She said: “We do need to stick with it for a few more days. Not all of the phase one measures will necessarily be introduced next Thursday, but I hope that most of them will be, or at least a day or two afterwards.”
Ms Sturgeon also clarified that after May 28 people will be able to spend time outside, while adhering to social distancing, with others from one other household at a time.
The First Minister also asked people to “use their judgement” when it comes to activities in phase one.
She said people can travel to a relative’s home and spend time with them outside, but she warned against going inside – for instance to use the toilet – in case they inadvertently leave the virus behind on surfaces.
Addressing the impact lockdown is having on Scots’ mental health, the First Minister said the Scottish Government has provided more than £8 million for projects, through its Wellbeing Fund, to help tackle social isolation.
She added: “It is okay not to feel okay and help is available if you need it.”
Also speaking during the briefing, Police Scotland Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said his officers will be “out and about” over the weekend explaining the lockdown rules and “as a last resort” enforcing the law.
He acknowledged the “frustrations and the fatigue” of the public during lockdown, and expressed his thanks for adhering to the rules.
Mr Livingstone said officers will now be moving from encouraging and enforcing lockdown measures to putting more emphasis on advice and guidance to the public.
But he added it is “absolutely vital to stress that the rules in Scotland have not changed”.
He said: “Stick with it, keep doing what you’re doing and we’ll have some weeks ahead to look forward to.”
The First Minster also gave the latest Covid-19 figures in Scotland.
A total of 2,245 patients have died after testing positive for coronavirus, up by 24 from 2,221 on Thursday.
The First Minister said 14,969 people have tested positive for the virus in Scotland, up by 113 from 14,856 the day before.
There are 1,257 people in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, a decrease of 61, and 50 people are in intensive care, a fall of one.