Coronavirus in Scotland: Restrictions will not be scrapped when vaccine rollout complete, says Deputy First Minister

Covid-19 restrictions will not be scrapped in Scotland once the vaccination programme is complete, Deputy First Minister John Swinney has said.

At the coronavirus daily briefing on Friday Mr Swinney said it was important to be “clear” with the public about expectations around restrictions and the vaccine, and that there will be a need for restrictions “for some considerable time”.

Mr Swinney said face coverings, social distancing and travel restrictions may remain after the general population is vaccinated.

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He said: "I think it is important that we are clear with the public that although the vaccination programme is going well, although it is becoming more extensive in the country, there will be a need for some considerable time - I don't know how long that will be - for us to live with more restrictions and mitigations that we had before the pandemic.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney, wearing a face mask, arrives in the chamber to update MSPs at the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood, Edinburgh.
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“I think face coverings are likely to be a pretty regular part of life for some time to come. I don't know how long it will be, but it will be a fact of life for some time to come.

thing to come.

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“Physical distancing is something that we will have to try to observe, to make sure that we can be confident about the environment in which we are living.

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“Some of the restrictions might have to be in place for longer than the completion of the vaccination programme, to assure us of the security of the population.

"Of course there will also be a emerging information about the efficacy and effectiveness of the vaccine, which we will only know as we see more of the application of the vaccine within society.”

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National Clinical Director Jason Leitch added that vaccination is not complete until all countries go through their own programme.

“This is not about Scotland being vaccinated. It's about the world being vaccinated,” he said.

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He added that vaccines “for now, don’t change behaviour”.

“If you are vaccinated, you still follow all the same safety measures as the rest of us,” he said.

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"In time, that will change, once we have more research, once we get prevalence down to a lower level.”

He added that normality “seems more likely because of the vaccination programme.”

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