Nicola Sturgeon caves: SNP finally gives in to Boris Johnson’s UK exit strategy demands

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Speaking at the latest Scottish Government coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh, Nicola Sturgeon said she will announce a detailed road map for the easing of the coronavirus lockdown in Scotland on Thursday, adding Scottish people will finally be allowed to follow England’s coronavirus lockdown rules soon after May 28. She said: “The roadmap we publish on Thursday will give a more detailed indication of the order in which we will carefully and gradually seek to lift current restrictions. Like other countries, we will not yet be able to put firm dates on all of the different phases because timings must be driven by data and evidence and it will also be important that we assess the impact of measures in one phase before moving on to another.

“We will continue to take a cautious approach that ensures the virus is suppressed while seeking to restore as much normality as possible when it is safe to do so.

“Thursday’s road map will confirm that assuming that we see progress in suppressing the virus, the first phase will start from the next phase will start from the formal review date of the 28th of May.

“Within a few days of that, we will aim to allow for example more outdoor activity such as being able to sit in the park, meet up outdoors with someone from another household as long as you stay socially distant, some limited outdoor sporting activity like golf and fishing.

“The opening of gardening centres and recycling facilities and the resumption of some outdoor work.”

The First Minister added: “Within two weeks, my hope is that we will be taking some concrete steps on the journey back to normality.

“As I’ve said before, it won’t be normality as we knew it because the virus will not have gone away, but it will be a journey to a better balance – I hope – than the one we have today.

“As we take each step, we must make sure that the ground beneath us is as solid as possible.

“That’s why sticking with the lockdown restrictions a bit longer to suppress the virus more is so important, because that will mean we can start to take these steps with the confidence that we have alternative means of effectively keeping it under control.”

The First Minister said for the moment there is no change to the lockdown advice currently being circulated by the Scottish Government.

A total of 2,105 patients have died in Scotland after testing positive for coronavirus, up by two from 2,103 on Sunday, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

Ms Sturgeon said there are 1,427 patients in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, up 119 from 1,308 on Sunday.

Of these, 63 were in intensive care, a rise of four.

She issued a note of caution over the death figures, saying although deaths can be registered at the weekend, registrations tend to be lower.

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The First Minister also said there would now be an expansion in testing, saying that anyone over the age of five with any of the symptoms would be able to have a test booked.

Ms Sturgeon said these would be available at the drive-in centres across the country, or through any of the mobile testing centres, with the scheme being a collaboration between the Scottish and UK governments.

While key workers will be prioritised, Ms Sturgeon said the tests can be booked online.

Meanwhile, referencing the recent change to include the loss of taste or smell in coronavirus symptoms, the First Minister said this should now be a reason for people to self-isolate.

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