‘No plans’ for further Covid restrictions despite high number of cases

Humza Yousaf says ministers will not be considering a return to greater restrictions 'at this moment'.

‘No plans’ for further Covid restrictions despite high number of cases Circle Creative Studio via IStock
Yousaf: There are no plans for a return to greater Covid-19 restrictions.

There are no plans for a return to greater Covid-19 restrictions, health secretary Humza Yousaf has said, despite case numbers remaining high.

In the last three weeks, the number of daily reported cases has rarely dropped below 2000, with 2581 reported on Sunday, alongside two deaths.

But ministers will not be considering a return to greater restrictions “at this moment”, according to the health secretary.

Scots were subject to strict measures from the onset of the pandemic, ranging from curbs on hospitality to mandatory stay at home orders and school closures before they were eased in August.

Advertisement

“No further restrictions are being considered at this moment, we’re looking to maximise every lever that we possibly can,” he told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme.

“Our concern also is that we’re going into probably the most difficult winter we’ve ever faced, so other respiratory viruses such as flu will also cause sustained pressure, continued pressure on a very challenging situation in the NHS.”

Yousaf added that the Scottish Government remains “committed” to driving down case numbers, but coronavirus is likely to continue to have the opportunity to spread through the winter as people start to meet indoors.

“Hopefully, for example, the excellent progress we’re making vaccinating 12-15-year-olds with the first dose of the vaccine, that will help to drive down numbers,” he said.

Advertisement

“We’re still committed to driving down numbers, we’re not satisfied at case levels the way they are.”

The health service along with the Scottish Ambulance Service has seen increased pressure in recent months, causing long waits and prompting the Scottish Government to call in the military and the fire service for assistance.

The health secretary praised the support from the military as “excellent”, adding: “We’ve asked them to come in and help, they’ve not wasted a single second.

“They’ve engaged with us and made personnel available where possible.

“As you can imagine, the military is getting these requests from every single health board and NHS trust across the entire United Kingdom, so no doubt they are also stretched.”