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Lockdown extension ‘very likely’ as infection rates remain too high, Nicola Sturgeon warns

2 min read

The Scottish First Minister has warned the country not to expect any “meaningful change” to current lockdown measures this week.

Speaking at the Scottish Government's daily coronavirus update ahead of this week's latest review of the nationwide restrictive measures, Nicola Sturgeon braced Scots to "stick with lockdown for a bit longer".

She said: “The numbers still being infected by the virus and the all-important R number remain too high right now to make any meaningful change without risking the virus running quickly out of control again.

“We also know… that care home transmissions continue to be a very significant challenge.”

Ms Sturgeon added: “All things considered, and while, let me stress, decisions are yet to formally be taken, it is very likely that on Thursday I will asking you to stick with lockdown for a bit longer.”

Assessments of the current rate of infection, as well as other matters related to lifting lockdown, would be published on Tuesday, she said.

Scotland would also try to align as far as possible with other UK nations on plans to lift restrictions, Ms Sturgeon said.

But she said her government's "primary task is to make sure we are making the right decisions at the right pace for Scotland".

The SNP politician meanwhile shed light on her country’s ‘test, trace and isolate’ system which she said would be a “key part” of the approach to lifting lockdown. 

But she warned that the plans would not be a "quick fix or magic solution".

Her statement came as the UK begins its own trial of a contact tracing app on the Isle of Wight.

The system is intended to trace infections of Covid-19 using phone data and will form a key part of the Government’s bid to ease restrictions while avoiding a second outbreak. 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is expected to outline more details of the new system when he leads Monday's daily Downing Street press conference at 5pm.

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Connecting Communities is an initiative aimed at empowering and strengthening community ties across the UK. Launched in partnership with The National Lottery, it aims to promote dialogue and support Parliamentarians working to nurture a more connected society.

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