Nicola Sturgeon 'hopes' to move to phase three of lockdown easing on Thursday

The First Minister was speaking at her daily briefing in Edinburgh.

Nicola Sturgeon has indicated that Scotland is likely to move to phase three of lockdown easing on Thursday

Nicola Sturgeon has indicated Scotland will move into the next phase of lockdown easing on Thursday at her daily briefing.

The First Minister said she hoped the country would be able to move into phase three of the lockdown easing routemap which could see people being allowed to meet indoors with more than one household for the first time since lockdown.

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She said “We cannot go on indefinitely with severe restriction on our economy and on our way of life and that is why I hope to be able to confirm on Thursday that we are moving to phase three in our route map out of lockdown.

“We are and must continue to be determined to ensure that our emergence from lockdown is both safe and sustainable.

“We must absolutely minimise the risk of going back into lockdown later in the year because we have allowed the virus to run out of control again.”

The First Minsiter also repeated warnings that if Scotland moved too fast out of lockdown the country could see similar situations to Melbourne in Australia and parts of Spain which have returned to lockdown.

She added: “That risk is a very real one and we must not lull ourselves into a sense that we are somehow immune from that and if you doubt that I would encourage you to take a look at what is happening in other parts of the world.

“Covid cases in Scotland are currently very low down to the collective efforts of everyone but we are still seeing some cases every day, the virus is still out there and it will easily come back if we allow it to.

“As we lift the measures that have kept it under control the risks of transmission do increase again, it stands to reason when we start to interact more then we provide more opportunities for the virus to spread.”

Repeating her plea for the public to follow public health advice, Ms Sturgeon asked people to continue following the rules.

She said: “From Friday, as we go into, I hope, phase three, face coverings will be mandatory by law in shops with obvious exceptions for people with medical conditions for young children. They already are mandatory on public transport.

“Avoid crowded places indoors and outdoors, clean your hands and any hard surfaces that you touch regularly, two metre distancing from people in other households to your own remains the general rule and self isolate and book a test if you experience any symptoms of Covid and don’t wait to do that and do that immediately.

“If all of us remember these five basic measures then we will minimise the opportunities for the virus to spread as we start to get back to normal and in doing that we will keep ourselves safe and help to protect others and undoubtedly we will save lives."

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