First Minister to outline plans for how Scotland lives with Covid

Nicola Sturgeon will set out her new strategic framework for dealing with coronavirus on Tuesday.

First Minister to outline plans for how Scotland lives with Covid Scottish Parliament TV
Covid: Nicola Sturgeon to update Holyrood on Covid restrictions.

Nicola Sturgeon will set out her new strategic framework for dealing with coronavirus on Tuesday.

The First Minister will update MSPs on Tuesday afternoon as the Scottish Government’s blueprint for managing and recovering from Covid-19 is published.

Her announcement comes as Boris Johnson dropped remaining Covid restrictions in England on Monday. 

The Prime Minister told MPs that from Thursday, those who test positive for coronavirus will no longer be required to self-isolate. 

However, he added that those who do test positive will be advised to stay at home for five days. 

Johnson also announced that free universal testing will also end in April. 

Sturgeon has concerns about the decision to end self-isolation requirements but added that it was “not for me to cast judgement” on the Prime Minister’s decisions regarding England. 

“I do not agree with [Johnson] about the ending of self-isolation for positive cases at this point because that is effectively saying to people, ‘if you’ve got Covid, it’s okay to go and potentially infect others in workplaces and settings elsewhere,” Nicola Sturgeon said.

“I don’t think that is the best way to curb the virus and aid that journey back to normality and I don’t agree with a sudden end to the current testing arrangements.

“I do agree that we need to transition towards something that is more targeted, but I think it’s important that we have a proper, phased approach to that, recognising that we still have a big challenge to face right now.”

Sturgeon added that while some may feel “optimistic” about her statement, that Scots should be reminded the coronavirus pandemic is far from over. 

“We know from past experience that new variants, for example, can come about and cause new challenges,” she said.

“So, we need to be vigilant about that and we need to be prepared about that, but we also need to manage that risk in a much less restrictive and more sustainable way for the future, so that we can all get back to normal, retain that sense of normality, even as we maintain that sense of vigilance.

“But I think it’s really important, and you know, it’s for Boris Johnson to set out what he thinks is right for England, but it’s really important that we see certain things as part of what enable us to live with greater normality.”

The most recent statistics show that 5307 new cases of coronavirus were recorded in Scotland on Sunday, with no new deaths. 

The total number of people who have died in Scotland within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 remains at 10,596.

There were 1051 people in hospital on Sunday having recently tested positive for the virus, with 13 of those in intensive care.

So far 4,432,566 people have received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccination, 4,151,403 have received their second dose, and 3,397,270 have received a third dose or booster.