John Swinney asks people to 'stick with it' as he reveals his mum died at start of lockdown

The appeal came as the Scottish government eased lockdown restrictions for the first time.

Speaking on BBC Radio, Scotland’s Deputy First Minister urged people to “stick with” the lockdown for a little longer, saying that everyone had struggled with difficult decisions over the past 10 weeks.

It comes as the lockdown in Scotland eases for the first time, with most outdoor businesses allowed to restart, and one household allowed to meet another in groups of eight, outside and at least two metres apart.

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Mr Swinney urged Scots not to take liberties with the new rules and emphasised the sacrifices that many had been forced to make.

Mr Swinney urged Scots to "stick with" the lockdown for a little longer. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

"My mum died just at the beginning of lockdown, and I’ve not seen my dad since we went to my mum’s funeral at the end of March.

“I’m desperate to sit in my dad’s garden and see him face to face,” Mr Sweeney said.

“But everybody has had to face up to these difficulties as we’ve wrestled with lockdown. And people have been really really good, and we’re just asking them to stick with it for a bit longer.”

Lockdown changes

Announcing the changes on Thursday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said lockdown is being eased from Friday after a "sustained and unmistakable" downward trend in coronavirus cases.

Some non-contact outdoor leisure activities such as golf, tennis, bowls and fishing are allowed to restart from Friday, while most outdoor work can resume and construction sites can prepare for work to start again.

The Scottish Government also said it will "no longer discourage" drive-through restaurants from opening.

Recent good weather has already seen large numbers of people head to areas such as Portobello beach in Edinburgh, but Ms Sturgeon said the "strong advice" as lockdown eases is for people to stay within about five miles of their home, and to avoid places that are busy.

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