Nicola Sturgeon has said she is “not going to rule anything out”, when asked whether restrictions in Glasgow could become more localised if it is not possible to move the full city down a level from next week.
The First Minister, speaking at the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing, confirmed that Glasgow will stay under level three restrictions for at least one more week.
Sturgeon insisted that she does not want people to live under restrictions for longer than is necessary, however also indicated that it would be difficult to sub-divide the city under different regulations.
It has been suggested that parts of Glasgow with a higher number of cases could be kept under tighter restrictions, whilst areas with lower numbers could have some restrictions eased.
“When you’re trying to take a geographic approach to outbreak management, as opposed to just putting the same restrictions in every part of the country, you have to draw the line somewhere,” explained the First Minister.
“And therefore, where you draw the line has to make some kind of sense in terms of people’s travel patterns, you know, where people work and in the City of Glasgow… that’s difficult to do when you start to sub-divide the city.
“It’s perhaps easier to do in more rural parts of the country where those connections are not quite as close and interlinked.
“So, our judgement at the moment is that in a practical sense, it would be quite difficult to sub-divide the city and to enforce that in any kind of meaningful way.
“And, and this is a key part of our sort of decision right now, we hope that in the not too distant future, and I’ve set out our hope that this time next week the whole city can come down to level two, that that’s probably what we should focus on.”
Sturgeon said that the focus at the moment needs to be on getting the whole of Glasgow moved down a level.
She said: “Although there has been the concentration on the south side, it’s not just the south side that has cases.
“Cases are absolutely much lower, and in some parts of the city very low, but there are cases in different parts of the city.
“So, I think at the moment we need to focus on trying to get the whole city down a level given the practical difficulties in trying to put restrictions in lower geographic areas.
“That said, do we rule that out if what I’ve just said about next week doesn’t come to pass and we still have highly localised areas? We’re not going to rule anything out in dealing with a situation like this because we don’t want people to be living under restrictions for any longer than is necessary.”