Scottish Government has extended the current lockdown in Scotland. In her daily update, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that the current lockdown would continue
The update comes as another three week period of lockdown has elapsed. The government are required to review the situation every three weeks.
Scottish First Minister in Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said:
“As I have indicated previously this week, the Scottish Government is legally required to review the regulations giving effect to the lockdown every three weeks, and the latest review falls due today.
“Our assessment of the evidence leads me to the conclusion that the lockdown must be extended at this stage. More detail of our analysis will be published alongside today’s daily statistics at 2pm. But let me say this now.
“We are – together – making really significant progress in our efforts to get this virus under control. I have reported today a further reduction in the number of patients in intensive care. And yesterday, National Records of Scotland reported the first weekly decline in the number of registered deaths related to the virus since this outbreak began.
“All of that gives us real hope and real encouragement.
“But we also know that progress remains fragile. Our estimates suggest that there are still significant numbers of people in Scotland infected with this virus.
“And we are not yet confident that the all-important R number is comfortably below 1 – and I’ve explained and set out before why it is so important to get it and keep it comfortably below 1. Indeed, we think it could still be hovering around 1 just now – which means that any significant easing up of restrictions at this stage would be very very risky indeed.
“Also, we think the R number may still be a bit higher here than it is in other parts of the UK – perhaps reflecting the fact that our first cases came later than England’s and so we may be at a different – and slightly later – stage of the infection curve.
“Now, all of that tells me that extreme caution is required, at this critical juncture, to avoid a rapid resurgence of the virus.
“Before we can judge that it is safe to begin any significant, albeit gradual, easing of the restrictions, we want to see data in the days ahead that confirms a very clear downward trend.
“In particular, I want to see what our estimates of new cases and the R number look like a week from now.
“And I will be looking very carefully, as I’m sure all of us will be, to see if next week’s NRS figures show a continued fall in the number of deaths.
“And it is to allow for such further careful assessment that we have concluded that the lockdown – and the associated regulations – must remain in place for now.
“The legal deadline for the next review of these regulations will be three weeks from now – which is the 28 May.
“But I want to be very clear again today that we can make changes to the regulations before then if the evidence suggests it is safe to do so.
“And let me say again, I am as anxious as anyone to restore some degree of normality to our lives as soon as possible and to reduce the harms that we know lockdown itself is doing.
“It is also open to us to amend the supporting guidance if we think that is possible – and indeed there is one very limited, specific change to the guidance that we are considering already, and I want to come back to that shortly.”