Nicola Sturgeon: Tougher Scots lockdown is needed to “potentially save lives”

Nicola Sturgeon has urged Scots to accept a tougher lockdown regime than elsewhere in the UK as it could potentially save lives.

Nicola Sturgeon urged Scots to persevere with lockdown measures

It came as she insisted that Boris Johnson's expected announcement on lockdown relaxation this Sunday will only be for England

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford announced today that as well as restrictions on exercise being eased, garden centres and libraries could also re-open.

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The First Minister said she expects that any changes announced by Mr Johnson on Sunday will result in minor variations with Scotland.

But she told the daily Coronavirus briefing that the Reproduction (R) rate in Scotland is still estimated to be higher than elsewhere and urged Scots to persevere with a tougher approach here.

Although a relaxation of rules on exercising is expected to announced by Ms Sturgeon in the coming days, there will be no other easing of restrictions to match measures south of the border.

"All four nations now accept that there may be differences in pace in how we do these things because the rate of the infection - the level of the virus is at different stages because of the timing that we went into this infection curve," Ms Sturgeon said.

"If you're not being allowed to do something in Scotland that you're being allowed td do in other parts of the UK or vice versa, it's because we judge here that it's necessary to save you from getting this virus which potentially could save you life if you became seriously unwell.

"We're asking you for a little bit longer not to, for example, go to garden centres."

She added: "Everything I'm advising people to do or not to do is only driven by the desire to protect people from this virus."

Ms Sturgeon said discussions with the UK Government over the last 24 hours have assured her that any changes announced by Mr Johnson this weekend will only result in minor variations with Scotland.

"These restriction are in place separately in all four nations of the UK, we all have our own legal responsibilities to review them and keep them under review.

"Apart from on clearly reserved areas like border control what the Prime Minister announces in terms of easing up on restrictions will be for England.

“And then as Wales has done today set out their position, as we will do and Northern Ireland will do separately.

"I would expect the changes, if there are any variations between us to be minor at this stage."

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