Covid Scotland: Kate Forbes says Scotland will have ‘fundamental differences’ when lifting restrictions after Boris Johnson announces return to normal

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has said that the situation in England is ‘worrying’ as cases are predicted to rise to 50,000 per day when restrictions are eased on July 19.

Speaking on BBC Good Morning Scotland Ms Forbes said that Scotland is in a “fragile and cautious phase” and that the First Minister is continuously reviewing data with the goal of delivering the timetable set out for moving out of lockdown.

Ms Forbes said: “We all want to get back to some form of normality and the First Minister has set out in Scotland, our own timetable. There are some similarities but there are two fundamental differences with Boris Johnson's announcement yesterday.

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“The first is on the timetable itself, we have said that all of Scotland could move to level zero on July 19, so that includes the easing of physical distancing indoors and outdoors, and then we'll move beyond level zero from August 9.”

She added that they have previously said they “expect some baseline measures – for example face masks and limitations to working from home – to continue for a longer period of time” past August 9.

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Boris Johnson has predicted that across the UK case numbers could rise as high as 50,000 per day when England’s restrictions ease.

Asked if the First Minister will go ahead as planned with the easing of Scotland’s restrictions if this is the case, Ms Forbes said: “The situation in England is worrying.

Kate Forbes says that the coronavirus situation in England is 'worrying' as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces return to normal. (Credit: Jane Barlow/PA Wire)

“I said earlier that we are in a fragile, and cautious phase.

"We want to ensure that the latest data is informing our position and the First Minister will set out on July 13 our plans on July 19.

"The key is to ensure that everybody is getting vaccinated, so please go get vaccinated as quickly as possible to ensure that when we lift restrictions we're doing so in a way that continues to keep people safe.”

She added that one of the most important elements in assessing whether Scotland can move forward as planned is ensuring that the link between coronavirus transmissions and hospitalisations or serious illness remains weak, saying that “the answer answer to that is everybody getting vaccinated.”

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