Breaking lockdown measures over the bank holiday weekend could see plans to ease the restrictions delayed, Nicola Sturgeon has warned.
The First Minister used her daily coronavirus briefing to say the one thing that will slow the lifting of lockdown is “taking our foot of the brake” too quickly, leading to a resurgence of the virus.
Stage one of the Scottish Government’s four-phase plan to lift lockdown is scheduled to begin on May 28, with Scots then allowed to meet people from outside their own household, sunbathe and take part in some non-contact sports such as golf.
But Sturgeon stressed the lockdown message to ‘stay at home’ remains in place this weekend.
She said: “We do need to stick with it for a few more days.
“Not all of the phase one measures will necessarily be introduced next Thursday, but I hope that most of them will be, or at least a day or two afterwards.”
She also clarified that after May 28 people will be able to spend time outside, while adhering to social distancing, with others from one other household at a time.
The First Minister also asked people to “use their judgement” when it comes to activities in phase one.
She said people can travel to a relative’s home and spend time with them outside, but she warned against going inside – for instance to use the toilet – in case they inadvertently leave the virus behind on surfaces.
Addressing the impact lockdown is having on Scots’ mental health, the First Minister said the Scottish Government has provided more than £8mfor projects through its wellbeing fund to help tackle social isolation.
She added: “It is okay not to feel okay and help is available if you need it.”
Also speaking during the briefing, Police Scotland chief constable Iain Livingstone said his officers will be “out and about” over the weekend explaining the lockdown rules and “as a last resort” enforcing the law.
He acknowledged the “frustrations and the fatigue” of the public during lockdown, and expressed his thanks for adhering to the rules.
Chief Constable Livingstone said officers will now be moving from encouraging and enforcing lockdown measures to putting more emphasis on advice and guidance to the public.
But he added it is “absolutely vital to stress that the rules in Scotland have not changed”.
He said: “Stick with it, keep doing what you’re doing and we’ll have some weeks ahead to look forward to.”
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