Scotland ‘unlikely’ to lift lockdown, even if UK does

Deputy first minister said it's 'unlikely' there will be changes to Scotland's lockdown measures on Monday.

Lockdown: Scottish Government not expecting to 'make any particular changes'. STV
Lockdown: Scottish Government not expecting to 'make any particular changes'.

Scotland is “unlikely” to lift lockdown measures on Monday even if the UK Government does, according to the deputy first minister.

The Prime Minister will make a statement on Sunday regarding the current restrictions ahead of addressing Parliament on the issue on Monday.

John Swinney was speaking on Radio Scotland’s Drivetime with John Beattie when he claimed the Scottish Government had seen no evidence that made it likely there would be changes north of the border.

It would be the first major divergence between Scotland and the rest of the UK on measures designed to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.

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Mr Swinney said: “I don’t know what the PM intends to announce on Sunday or Monday.

“I have no idea what the Prime Minister will say but what I’m saying from the Scottish Government perspective on the information we have available to us it is unlikely we can make any particular changes to the existing arrangements we have in place.”

John Swinney.
John Swinney: ‘Unlikely we can make any particular changes’

In his first Prime Minister’s Questions since recovering from Covid-19 and the birth of his son Wilfred, Mr Johnson said he “bitterly” regrets the Covid-19 crisis in care homes and expressed frustration about problems supplying personal protective equipment (PPE).

Mr Johnson will set out plans for easing the lockdown in a speech on Sunday, with some measures possibly being introduced the following day.

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“We have to be sure the data is going to support our ability to do this,” Mr Johnson said.

“That data is coming in continuously over the next few days. We want, if we possibly can, to get going with some of these measures on Monday.

“It would be a good thing if the people had an idea of what’s coming the following day, that’s why I think Sunday – the weekend – is the best time to do it.”

Downing Street stressed “it is not going to be a case of flicking a switch” to lift all measures at once, instead “people will have to prepare for a different type of normal”.

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