Nicola Sturgeon declares she WILL ease lockdown restrictions in Scotland at different rate to the rest of the UK if she disagrees with Boris Johnson’s plan – and swears it is not ‘political’ – but refuses to set a date for rules to be relaxed
- Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon published lockdown exit plan last week
- Today she insisted she is willing to act independently of UK on easing lockdown
- The UK government continues to refuse to publicly discuss its own strategy
Nicola Sturgeon today made clear she is willing to ease coronavirus lockdown restrictions in Scotland at a different rate to the rest of the UK.
The Scottish First Minister last week set out her blueprint for loosening rules north of the border but Downing Street continues to refuse to set out its strategy.
Ms Sturgeon said this morning that if she disagrees with the direction advocated by Boris Johnson and the UK government she will move independently of Number 10.
However, the SNP leader refused to be drawn on when specific measures could be relaxed.
She also insisted any decision to go a different route to the rest of the UK will not be ‘political’ but driven by scientific advice.
It comes after she said her government is considering plans which could soon allow people to meet with a ‘bubble’ of friends or family.
Nicola Sturgeon today said she is willing to ease lockdown independently of the UK government
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Ms Sturgeon said she would diverge from elsewhere in the UK in lifting lockdown measures if necessary.
But she stressed any decision would not be ‘political in any way, shape or form’ and would be driven by scientific evidence.
She said: ‘If, and it is an if, I’m not saying that we’re likely to get in to this territory, the UK government took decisions that I thought were premature in terms of coming out of the lockdown then clearly I would want to make sure that Scotland did what I judged was best to protect the population.’
Mr Marr asked Ms Sturgeon when he will be able to see his parents, who live outside Dundee but she would not drawn.
She replied: ‘I’m not going to give you a date for that now, Andrew, because it would be irresponsible for me to do so because I do not have the information that gives me the confidence that I can say that with certainty.
‘One of the most difficult, if not the most difficult aspect of all of this is that need for grandparents to be separate from their grandkids.
‘My own parents are suffering from that right now and grandparents up and down the country are in the same position.’
The Scottish First Minister said other countries were now beginning to look at expanding the definition of ‘households’ to allow friends and family to reunite and that Scotland could do the same.
The SNP leader said any such scheme would only work if people stuck to meeting the same group each time as she said she understood the ‘anguish’ of not being able to see loved ones.
She also suggested people who live alone could ‘match up with somebody else who is on their own or a couple of other people’.
Ms Sturgeon today insisted that Scotland will ‘look seriously at social and economic reform’ as part of its post-coronavirus recovery efforts.
The First Minister said the virus had fundamentally changed everyday life but has given an opportunity to shape a different kind of future.
Despite giving some hope of restrictions being relaxed, Ms Sturgeon did make clear this morning she believes the current three-week period is likely to be extended.