Scotland Delays the Lifting of Lockdown Restrictions – Will England Follow Suit?

The lifting of lockdown restrictions has been halted in much of the central belt of Scotland, with Nicola Sturgeon pinning the blame on the spread of the Indian Delta Covid variant. Sky News has the story.

Giving a Covid update to the Scottish Parliament, [the First Minister] said there was hope the rollout of vaccinations was “opening the path to a less restrictive way” of dealing with the virus.

But, with not all adults having yet received two doses of a vaccine, [Sturgeon] told MSPs: “We are not quite there yet.”

She added: “As we make this transition – just to compound the challenge – we are also dealing with a new, faster spreading variant.

“This is, of course, a new development that has arisen since we set out our indicative route map back in March.

“All of this means that at this critical stage – to avoid being knocked off course completely – we must still err on the side of caution.”

Edinburgh and Midlothian, Dundee, East Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, North, South and East Ayrshire, North and South Lanarkshire, Clackmannanshire and Stirling have not yet met the criteria to see restrictions ease, Ms Sturgeon said.

As a result, those areas will remain under Level Two restrictions [meaning limits will remain on social mixing and on leisure and entertainment businesses].

However, Glasgow will move down from Level Three to Level Two from Saturday.

And another 18 local authorities will see restrictions ease from Saturday to move down to Level One measures.

Worth reading in full.

Despite calls from various Government advisors for the end of England’s lockdown to be pushed back, the Prime Minister says there’s no evidence to suggest that the country’s reopening should be delayed. The Guardian has the story.

Boris Johnson stands by his comments that there is nothing in the data to suggest a deviation from England’s reopening on June 21st, Downing Street has said, as scientists said the U.K. was facing a perilous moment.

The Business Minister Paul Scully also said on Tuesday there was “cautious optimism” that the date for the final lifting of restrictions could go ahead as planned. He told Times Radio the Government did not want to have to roll back restrictions again.

“One thing that we saw last year, before Christmas, was the stop-start nature just didn’t work for businesses and cost them more. So we’ve got to get it absolutely right. People’s jobs and livelihoods depend on it.” …

Asked about the Prime Minister’s view on the latest data, a Number 10 spokesman said: “I was going to point to what the PM said on Thursday. The Prime Minister has said on a number of occasions that we haven’t seen anything in the data but we will continue to look at the data, we will continue to look at the latest scientific evidence as we move through June towards June 21st.”

A announcement on the final step of the roadmap out of lockdown is expected on June 14th.

Also worth reading in full.

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