Jeane Freeman: ‘Life should not feel normal’ in Phase One

Health secretary has 'heard and seen' reports of 'more than two households meeting' and 'of house parties taking place'.

The health secretary has warned “life should not feel normal” as she urged people to stick to the rules during the first phase of the Scottish Government’s easing of lockdown restrictions.

Jeane Freeman said she had “heard and seen” reports this weekend of “more than two households meeting, of house parties taking place and of large gatherings outdoors.”

“None of that should be happening,” Freeman said as she reminded people the reasons they are now allowed to leave their homes are “exceptions” and “not the norm”.

She said: “I know that this weekend there have been many long awaited meetings taking place in the sunshine. I know they will have brought joy to very many but I can’t emphasise enough how much we need you to stick to the rules we’ve set out.

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“The central advice continues to be to stay at home. That is the best way of stopping the spread of the virus. I know that it is hard in the good weather but it is essential.

“The reasons you can leave your homes are exceptions, they are not the norm so if you are meeting people outside there should be no more than two households in any groups and ideally no more than eight people.

“Each household should socially distance from the other and also from any other groups that are in the same place as you. And you should not meet with more than one household once in a day.”

‘Fundamentally life may feel a little less restricted but it should not feel normal.’

Health secretary Jeane Freeman

Freeman continued: “Please don’t go indoors. Being in someone else’s house must still be avoided, unless you are providing support, of course, to someone who is vulnerable.

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“Fundamentally life may feel a little less restricted but it should not feel normal. I know these restrictions remain tough but they are necessary.

“We have heard and seen some reports this weekend of more than two households meeting, of house parties taking place and of large gatherings outdoors. None of that should be happening. It puts you and others at risk.”

The health secretary’s advice was echoed by the Scottish Government’s national clinical director Professor Jason Leitch.

As of Sunday, a further nine people had died in Scotland after being diagnosed with coronavirus.

And Prof Leitch, referencing the difficulty those people’s families will be enduring, cautioned the route map can still go backwards if Scots do not adhere to the rules set out.

He said: “There are nine families in the last 24 hours who have had to be told by a care team that their loved one has died of this disease.

“The route map phases can go backwards, as well as forwards, and that direction is dependent on the behaviour of each and every one of us.

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“It depends on you following the rules and those rules couldn’t have been made any clearer by the cabinet secretary just a few moments ago.”

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