Dominic Cummings case may undermine Coronavirus public health message says Jeane Freeman

Scotland's Health Secretary fears that the public health message surrounding the Coronavirus lockdown may be undermined by the Dominic Cummings controversy.

Jeane Freeman fears confusion

Boris Johnson's chief adviser is facing calls to go after it emerged he appeared to breach lockdown rules by travelling from London to be near his parents in Durham in March while his wife was symptomatic. He has claimed it was to ensure childcare would be available for his young son and that his family had self-isolated in a separate residence from the wider family.

But asked about the case today, Ms Freeman said: "My concern here is to make sure that people in Scotland understand very clearly what our message is and has consistently been.

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"My worry about the situation that is developing and emerging elsewhere in the United Kingdom is that that public health message, that really important message becomes confused in peoples' minds.

"And they think that it really doesn't matter so much any more.

"My message is really clear - you have achieved so much that numbers we read out every day for the last wee while have shown how much you have achieved.

"Our NHS has not been overwhelmed, that's down to you. The fact that we will later this week when it's time to review the current measures will be able to seriously talk about lifting some of those in a careful, staged, planned way is down to you.

"My message is please remember what the guidance is, please let's not go into reverse here. Stick to what we are advising you to do."

The SNP at Westminster has called for Mr Cummings to be be sacked, but Ms Freeman stopped short of this.

"What happens to any individual working for the UK Government is entirely a matter for them," she added.

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