Nicola Sturgeon rejects claims of lockdown lift in May

EDINBURGH, June 24, 2016 (Xinhua) — Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaks at a press conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, Britain, June 24, 2016. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said here Friday a second independence referendum was “highly likely” after Britain voted to leave the EU. (Xinhua/Scottish government/IANS)

Edinburgh, April 19 (IANS) Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Sunday denied claims that lockdown restrictions could be lifted next month.

Several Sunday papers have reported that lockdown measures could be relaxed from May 11, including the re-opening of schools and some retailers, the BBC reported.

Taking to Twitter, she said: “Decisions need to be solidly based & not premature. We don’t yet know what will be possible and when.”

She added that the Scotland goverment will soon set out “the factors that will guide decisions, but as/when we lift restrictions, we must be able to suppress virus in different ways”.

Three days ago, Sturgeon announced that Scotland’s coronavirus lockdown would continue for “at least another three weeks”.

She said that while there was “positive” news that lockdown was slowing the spread of the virus, it was not yet time to ease social distancing.

The First Minister further said she would begin to set out the basic principles of an “exit strategy” from the lockdown in the coming week.

The number of people who have died from coronavirus in Scotland’s hospitals yesterday rose to 893.

The development comes as the entire UK continues to be under a lockdown due to the pandemic.

The number of coronavirus cases as of Sunday increased to 115,314, with 15,498 deaths.

 

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