Scotland will aim to ease lockdown on May 28, says Nicola Sturgeon

18 May 2020, 14:10

Nicola Sturgeon said May 28 could be a date for easing restrictions in Scotland
Nicola Sturgeon said May 28 could be a date for easing restrictions in Scotland. Picture: PA

By Fraser Knight

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today announced that a ‘roadmap’ will be released by the Scottish Government on Thursday which will outline the phases in which restrictions could be lifted after the next lockdown review date.

Ms Sturgeon said she hopes measures can be eased from May 28 onwards on a phased basis.

She said phase one would see a return of some sport and leisure activities, the reopening of garden centres and recycling centres and people being allowed to meet others from outside their household, while maintaining social distancing.

Ms Sturgeon said today: “The route map we publish on Thursday will give a more detailed indication of the order in which we will carefully and gradually seek to lift current restrictions.

“Like other countries we will not yet be able to put firm dates on all of the different phases because timings must be driven by data and evidence.

“It will also be important we assess the impact of measures in one phase before we move onto another.”

More details are also due to be set out before the Scottish Parliament this week about steps being taken to suppress the coronavirus outbreak in care homes in the country.

Last week it was reported 45% of all coronavirus deaths in Scotland are among care home residents.

The country’s health secretary, Jeane Freeman, said: “We will now move to a position where all care home staff are offered testing regardless of symptoms and regardless of whether there is an ongoing outbreak in the care home where they work.

“This will help us to protect residents and staff themselves. Frontline staff in both our care sector and elsewhere deserve as much support as we can give them.”

Reports have surfaced of some care workers being afraid to get a test for Covid-19, even if symptomatic, because statutory sick pay is so low.

Jeane Freeman says she believes all care workers should receive more than statutory sick pay and urged private providers who do not offer that to speak to her about how the Government can support them.

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Responding to a question from LBC News at today’s coronavirus briefing, Ms Freeman said: “I do not think any care worker should be in that very difficult position where they are trying to make that choice about doing the right thing for their own health and the care of their residents – but knowing the income they will receive will reduce so significantly that it will be very difficult for them to manage.”

Testing has also been expanded to include any person in Scotland over the age of five who is showing symptoms of coronavirus, including the one added to the list this morning – Anosmia.

Anyone with a new persistent cough, a fever or a change in their sense of taste or smell are now being told to self-isolate and can book a slot for a test at a drive-through centre.