Nicola Sturgeon: Scottish Government to reveal 'phasing' of easing lockdown restrictions next week

She said the government will set out the next steps for Scotland next week.
Nicola Sturgeon during First Minister's Questions at the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh.Nicola Sturgeon during First Minister's Questions at the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh.
Nicola Sturgeon during First Minister's Questions at the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh.

Details of how Scotland could continue to ease itself out of lockdown will be released by the Scottish Government next week, the First Minister has said.

However, in responding to a question from the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie at First Minister’s Questions, Nicola Sturgeon did not say what the new slogan for Scotland would be, leaving open the possibility the UK Government’s ‘Stay Alert’ messaging may eventually be rolled out.

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Ms Sturgeon said the “phasing” for the easing of restrictions would be laid out “over the course of next week”, but that caution was still important.

She said: “Willie Rennie is right, we can’t stay as we are forever, although as I have said repeatedly getting back to complete normality is probably not going to be possible until there is a vaccine or treatment so we will be living with aspects of this for a significant time to come.

"But we start to have to ease things and get a semblance of normality back.

“I would hope over the course of next week to set out what we think the phasing of that will be but I will say very openly at that point that all of that will be subjected to a degree of uncertainty.”

In response to a earlier question from the Lib Dem leader, Ms Sturgeon said she would stand accountable for any decision made to ease lockdown.

Addressing the First Minister, Mr Rennie said: “I am nervous about England and Scotland diverging from each other because it may compromise the clarity that has so far saved lives.

“To justify a significantly different message, the scientific consensus needs to be significantly different too. So to settle my nerves and to provide us with all the reassurance we need, will the First Minister get her advisors to set out the details of the scientific difference between Scotland and England?”

Nicola Sturgeon said that it was England, and Boris Johnson, who decided to move more quickly out of lockdown and break away from the ‘four nations approach’.

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She said: “To somehow suggest that Scotland has broken away from a four nations approach is just not the case.

“I am making the judgement, and I will stand accountable for it, that it is better now to err on the side of caution.

“If I get things wrong, I would rather the price of getting things wrong is that people stay in lockdown for a few more days and that the price is not measured in unnecessary deaths.”

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