Coronavirus lockdown measures ‘are saving lives’

Humza Yousaf has urged the public to stick to 'life saving' lockdown measures over the Easter weekend.

Scotland’s Justice Secretary has said lockdown measures have saved people’s lives, but warned against rules being broken over the Easter weekend.

Speaking to the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Humza Yousaf said there has been a high level of compliance with guidance to stay at home, but there are still some outliers.

The Glasgow MSP urged people to stick to the rules over the Easter weekend as the weather is expected to improve.

Last week, Police Scotland said 144 fixed penalty notices had been given out to those flouting rules.

He said: “The message could not be clearer – you have to stay home.

“It’s helping us to save lives, and that’s really important to emphasise – for all the difficult numbers the First Minister has to read out on a daily basis at her briefing, there are a lot more lives that have been saved because people are staying at home and obeying the rules.”

Yousaf said there was still a “challenge” in dealing with parties and other gatherings in cities, adding that police have had to break up “far too many of them”.

However, he added that he expected the Easter weekend to be difficult for some people.

He said: “The Easter weekend, we think, will always be a challenge, particularly, as you were hearing there in the weather, we’re likely to have dry weather in some parts, sunny and potentially the temperature going up to the mid-teens in some areas.

“I can understand for people as we enter the third weekend how challenging it can be for people, particularly if you’re cooped up in a small space without a garden.”

Referring to UK Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, who travelled to his second home and delivered essentials to his elderly parents, Yousaf claimed his actions sent out “the wrong message”.

He said: “Robert Jenrick will have to account for himself in public and indeed through the rest of the government.

“Many of us worry about our parents, but we know that there’s also measures in place, particularly for the most vulnerable right across the UK.

“Particularly those who are repeating the messages have to live up to the standard.”

Jenrick, who has spoken at the Downing Street daily briefing on coronavirus, said he had practised social distancing on the visit to his parents’ Shropshire home.

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