Covid Scotland: 'Scottish Government will act very swiftly when JCVI advice is published', says John Swinney

John Swinney has said that the Scottish Government will act ‘very swiftly’ when health expert advice is published next week as he denied that Scotland is becoming an ‘outlier’ in the easing of Covid restrictions.

The deputy First Minister’s comments come as Wales is set to offer Covid vaccinations to all five to 11 year olds, following an announcement from their health minister ahead of the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommendations being published.

Mr Swinney said the Scottish Government will await the JCVI recommendations before issuing a Covid update and will act “very swiftly” when the advice has been published.

Talking to BBC’s Good Morning Scotland, Mr Swinney said: "We await the finalisation of the JCVI on five to 11 year olds.

John Swinney has said that the Scottish Government will act ‘very swiftly’ when JCVI advice is published next week as he denied that Scotland is becoming an ‘outlier’ in the easing of Covid restrictions.

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"We will take careful account of the JCVI advice and come to conclusions when that is formally received by the Government.

"We already have some five to 11-year-olds who are able to access vaccination because of their own clinical vulnerability and the clinical vulnerability of others within their household.”

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Scotland is currently in the process of extending the legal right for Covid restrictions as other countries such as England are set to abolish all covid restrictions, including the need to self-isolate.

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Last week, the SNP announced that secondary school pupils in Scotland will no longer be required to wear face masks from February 28 onwards.

However, the Scottish Conservatives said the move was “long overdue for a return to normality for Scotland's young people”.

Questioned on whether Scotland is becoming an outlier in the UK as other countries remove Covid restrictions, Mr Swinney said: “I don’t think that’s the case.

"There will be a requirement for face coverings to worn in public places with these issues subject to review by the Scottish Government.”

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Mr Swinney said updated strategic framework will be published next week and the Scottish Government will present their position on the Covid situation to Parliament on Tuesday based on the update.

"Covid is still out there, it’s still a significant threat to public health,” said Mr Swinney, "We’ve got to proceed with care but we’ve also got to apply proportionate tests at all times and that’s what the Scottish Government looks at at all times.”

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