UK Covid live: easing lockdown will ‘inevitably’ mean more deaths, says PM | Politics









Scotland’s socialising rules relaxed earlier to help mental health

Nicola Sturgeon has brought forward relaxations to travel and outdoors meetings as she said that Covid was “in retreat” in Scotland.

Announcing the changes which she said had been made with boosting mental health and well-being in mind, she said that from this Friday:

– people will be all able to travel anywhere within Scotland for the purposes of outdoor socialising and exercise

– up to six adults from up to six households can meet outdoors

– island communities will align with rest of country so that travel to and from the islands can operate more normally

She confirmed that, in a fortnight’s time from 26 April, there will be a significant relaxation, with shops fully reopening, pubs, cafes and restaurants to open fully outdoors with limited hospitality opening indoors, which she pointed out would be three weeks ahead of England.

As of 26 April, travel restrictions to and from England and Wales will also be lifted – although Sturgeon added that it may be possible in future to re-introduce temporary travel restrictions.

Sturgeon also said people should be able to meet indoors again from the middle of May, albeit in limited numbers, and that she hoped to see a return to even greater normality, including hugging family and friends, by the summer.

Asked if she had the Holyrood elections in mind as she made the announcements, she said “It’s not a consideration at all”.

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Covid figures at lowest since September, says Sturgeon

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Easing lockdown will ‘inevitably’ mean more deaths, says PM

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Whilst it is true to say that all high-risk groups have technically been offered a vaccine, there are concerns not everyone has been offered a jab they can actually access.

Last month, the Guardian reported that a number of high-risk people had still not had their first vaccine.

Housebound people were meant to be visited by a mobile vaccination team, similar to the service offered to care home residents.

However, the Guardian understands that months on, a number of older and disabled people who are too unwell to leave their homes are still waiting, with some told to travel miles to a vaccine centre instead.

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