Scotland’s lockdown exit put on hold after surge in cases

Nicola Sturgeon has ruled out the prospect of Scotland moving into the next stage of Coronavirus lockdown exit when she reviews the restrictions this week.
Nicola Sturgeon says more restrictions could be imposedNicola Sturgeon says more restrictions could be imposed
Nicola Sturgeon says more restrictions could be imposed

And the prospect of a fresh crackdown is under consideration as the First Minister warned of a "definite rise" in cases across Scotland in recent weeks.

The SNP leader warned that Scotland is facing as "dangerous" moment as the return of the economy in recent weeks, including the reopening of bars and some workplaces, has resulted in a spike in cases.

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There were 146 new positive cases reported today. Although this is down on the 208 new cases the previous day, it still marks a surge in virus levels from six weeks ago when about 14 new cases a day were being reported.

"Later this week we will have the latest three week review on the national restrictions that continue to be in place and I will confirm the outcome of that in Parliament on Thursday," she said today.

But Scotland can only move from phase three, where it currently sits, of the exit route map into phase four if the virus is no longer considered a "significant threat" to public health.

Ms Sturgeon added: "All the latest statistic are clear that would not be the case.

"And it may be, while those decisions have not been taken yet, it may be that we have to put the brakes on some further changes too."

The First Minister will consider the latest situation in Greater Glasgow and Clyde after 78 new cases were recorded there today. It comes after fresh restrictions were imposed in Glasgow, West Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire on visiting other households.

"The current situation in Greater Glasgow and Clyde is a reminder that if we see a resurgence in cases restrictions may have to reimposed, rather than being relaxed.

"But we want to avoid that if at all possible."

The latest figures show there were no new deaths and hospital cases are continuing to rise only modestly, up by 12 to 256.

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