The First Minister has said Scotland is at a “tipping point” with coronavirus – a day after new restrictions were announced.
Nicola Sturgeon said the latest data “alarmed” her as the whole country adapts to a ban on household gatherings, which is intended to curb the spread of Covid-19.
From Friday pubs and restaurants will have to shut at 10pm, while working from home where possible has been advised and car sharing between households discouraged.
‘I’m looking at data that alarms me, frankly, and if we don’t act now, urgently and decisively, then we might find Covid running out of control again.’First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Sturgeon said: “I’ve made a judgment that we are again at a tipping point with Covid.”
On Tuesday, Scotland recorded another 383 new cases of the virus – the highest daily total since April 18.
Sturgeon continued: “I’m looking at data that alarms me, frankly, and if we don’t act now, urgently and decisively, then we might find Covid running out of control again.
“So the judgment I’ve made, and it’s not an easy one, is that if we take tough action now we might actually manage to be under these restrictions for a shorter period of time than we will end up being if we delay that action.
“So these are tough judgments but I think, given the loss of life we know that Covid can result in, the health damage that it does, we’ve got to be prepared at moments like this, people like me, to take tough decisions, and to be prepared to do things even if they’re unpopular, for the greater good.”
‘Leaders have to be accountable’
The First Minister also said leaders must be held accountable during the ongoing crisis.
She said: “Right now, communicating directly with the public is a real public duty on the part of leaders.”
GMB host Piers Morgan had told her: “As a rule of thumb, you come on pretty much whenever we ask you to be accountable for your decision making. We have not had a member of the UK Government on here for 148 days.”
He asked if that is a “dereliction of their duty to the electorate”.
Sturgeon said: “I think that is pretty disgraceful actually. I think particularly at a time like this. We can’t be on all the programmes all the time. There is a limited number of hours in the day.
“But generally speaking, particularly at a time like this, leaders have to be accountable. And not just accountable, we have to be explaining the decisions we are taking.
“We are asking people to do extraordinary things and if we are not prepared to explain the reasons for that, we can’t expect people to comply.”