Nicola Sturgeon: Small 'bubbles' of people may be allowed as lockdown eased

Nicola Sturgeon has discussed a scheme in which people could meet a small "bubble" of others outside their own households as lockdown measures are eased.

The First Minister said other countries are beginning to look at slightly expanding the definition of "households" to allow small gatherings of people.

She told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme it would have to be the same group of people each time.

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On Thursday, she revealed her framework for relaxing the lockdown measures in Scotland.

Nicola Sturgeon says easing of lockdown restrictions will be 'baby steps'Nicola Sturgeon says easing of lockdown restrictions will be 'baby steps'
Nicola Sturgeon says easing of lockdown restrictions will be 'baby steps'

Some restrictions could stay in place until at least the end of the year.

The First Minister stressed no decisions have been made on such a "bubble" arrangement and she wants to have an open conversation with the public about the way forward.

Ms Sturgeon also told Good Morning Scotland that we should expect to live with lockdown measures for quite some time.

"We will have to be very careful, very cautious, because the virus will have been suppressed but it will not have gone away," she said.

On how schools might operate in future, Ms Sturgeon told Good Morning Scotland that she was "just thinking aloud" and no firm decisions had been made.

She said that if social distancing continued, then people staying two metres apart would put an upper limit on how many pupils could be in a classroom at any one time.

"Do we have to take classes and divide them into two, where half of the class is there one week and the other half another week?," she says.

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"Or one half in the morning and the other in the afternoon?"

Ms Sturgeon said the same principles apply to younger children - but added that it will be far difficult to get them to maintain social-distancing rules.

"Trying to get nursery children, or even in the early years of primary school, to have the discipline and understanding to stay two metres apart from each other is a much different proposition," she said.

On the subject of major crowd events, such as football matches and concerts, the First Minister said they are not going to possible for some time to come.

But Ms Sturgeon admitted she is questioning if it might be possible for smaller-scale outdoor activity to be phased back in earlier.

"We don't know that for sure yet, but these are the variations that we are thinking about and looking at," she said.

Ms Sturgeon said lifting restrictions is really uncertain and we have to "adapt as we go", as it's not known what impact they may have.

"We may have to go back the way sometimes and adapt as we go," she said.

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Ending on a positive note, Ms Sturgeon said she can see a way through the Covid-19 crisis.

"It is not an easy one, it is not a certain one, but I do think there is a way through this and I think we'll find it if we work together in the way we have been so far.”

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