Sturgeon unveils ‘route map’ to easing lockdown

Nicola Sturgeon

The Scottish Government on Thursday published a “route map” setting out a phased approach to easing lockdown restrictions “while still suppressing coronavirus.”

The route map gives details of a gradual “four phase” move out of the current state of lockdown.

“COVID-19: Framework for Decision Making – Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis” gives practical examples of what people, organisations and businesses can expect to see change over time.

“It also highlights some of the things that won’t change for a while, including the continuing need for enhanced public health measures such as physical distancing,” said the Scottish Government.

“If the evidence shows transmission of COVID-19 is under control and the number of infectious cases is starting to decline, the Scottish Government will consider moving to Phase 1 of the route map following the next end-of-cycle review date on 28 May.

“The NHS Scotland test, trace, isolate and support strategy – known as Test and Protect – will be ready for expansion in all 14 health boards from 28 May.

“A plan agreed between councils, professional associations and parent representatives to reopen schools on 11 August, subject to scientific advice that it is safe to do so, has also been published today.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Today I have set out details of Scotland’s route map through and out of the COVID-19 crisis.

“The current key public health guidance remains to stay at home except for essential purposes, but the route map provides information about how and when we might ease our lockdown restrictions while continuing to suppress the virus.

“The lockdown restrictions have been necessary to reduce and mitigate the massive harm caused by the COVID-19 virus, but the lockdown itself causes harm including loneliness and social isolation, deepening inequalities and damage to the economy.

“That is why I have set out the gradual and incremental phases by which we will aim to ease lockdown matched with careful monitoring of the virus.

“At every one of these stages, the biggest single factor in controlling the virus will be how well we continue to observe public health advice. Continued hand washing, cough hygiene and physical distancing will continue to be essential as will wearing a face covering where appropriate.

“By doing the right thing, all of us have helped to slow the spread of the virus, to protect the NHS, and to save lives and as a result we are able – gradually, cautiously, and in phases – to plan our move towards a new normality.”