Nicola Sturgeon says face masks & work from home to continue after AUGUST as she delays lockdown lifting


SCOTS will still have to wear face masks and work from home after AUGUST, Nicola Sturgeon announced today.

The First Minister this afternoon unveiled her tweaked blueprint for delaying the next easing until July 19 before ending all restrictions on August 9.

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The First Minister this afternoon unveiled her tweaked blueprint for delaying the next easing until July 19

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament this afternoon she confirmed she was following Boris Johnson and delaying her next stage of lockdown easing until July 19.

She told MSPs: “As indicated last week we intend to maintain the current restrictions applicable in each part of Scotland.”

Ms Sturgeon then hopes to lift all legal restrictions on August 9.

And on the complete end of restrictions she said: “Our assessment on balance – and assuming that we meet the conditions of vaccination and harm reduction – is that it will be possible and proportionate to lift the major remaining restrictions on the ninth of August.”

She added that ripping up legal restrictions will be a “major milestone and signal a return to almost complete normality”.

The First Minister said in three weeks time social distancing indoors will be reduced from two metres to one metre – and outside it will be scrapped entirely.

Ms Sturgeon did not follow England in scrapping the cap for wedding guests – but said event staff no longer count towards the limit.

She said that by the end of the week everyone over 50 will have received both jabs and hailed it as a crucial step towards freedom.

But the First Minister warned “we still have a difficult path to navigate to over the next few weeks to meet these milestones, and even assuming we do as we hope we will the pandemic will not be completely over.”

Ms Sturgeon said the Delta variant is now the dominant variant – but was confident vaccines were breaking the link between cases and deaths.

Today’s announcement was largely a formality after Ms Sturgeon last week braced Scots that it was “unlikely” the June 28 unlocking would go ahead.

The First Minister has been embroiled in a spat with Manchester mayor Andy Burnham after imposing a travel ban on the Covid-hit city.

She told the Labour big beast to “grow up” and accused him of engineering the row to bolster his leadership ambitions.

The Scottish Government this afternoon announced a further four Covid deaths and 2,167 new cases.

The daily test positivity rate has jumped to 9.1 per cent, up from 7.2 per cent the previous day.