Sturgeon presents plan for gradual lifting of Scottish lock

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Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Thursday gave the clearest information on the UK’s likely exit strategy from the coronavirus shutdown as the British government plans to carefully and gradually lift the restrictions.

Unveiling a document which sets out the principles of the Scottish government to restore “a certain degree of normalcy” in everyday life, Sturgeon warned that there would be no quick release of the lock and that any release would be carefully calibrated and likely to be canceled in the short term.

Its position should be broadly consistent with the rest of the United Kingdom, as the Scottish government has closely aligned its policies on coronaviruses with those of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

“A return to normal because we knew it wasn’t in the cards in the near future,” said Ms. Sturgeon. “Talking about lifting the lock as if it were a switch change moment is wrong – our steps, when we take them, will have to be careful, gradual, incremental and probably small enough to start. “

She added that it was too early to judge when such a process could start and that at least some restrictions would remain for several months.

Sturgeon said it is possible that some companies in certain sectors may be allowed to reopen “but only if they can change the way they work to keep employees and customers within 2 meters of each other.”

Schools could also partially reopen by allowing students to attend every other week to try to ensure compliance with social distancing measures.

The Scottish government document says that all group gatherings, such as pubs or public events, are likely to be banned or restricted “for a period of time”.

Sturgeon’s position reflects growing acceptance by political leaders in the UK and around the world that social distancing will be needed to suppress the virus until an effective vaccine or other drugs to fight it disease are widely available.

In a notable departure from the British government, Sturgeon made it clear that she expected British ministers to impose some form of border health checks on people arriving from abroad.

The United Kingdom is part of a small club of nations that has failed to match the tighter borders and strict quarantine rules on arriving travelers that are now common in other countries.

But Downing Street rejected Mrs. Sturgeon’s suggestion to pursue a very different approach in Scotland compared to the rest of the United Kingdom.

“The Scottish government has stressed that it wants to continue operating within a British framework of four countries and align the decisions as much as possible,” said a spokesperson.

But Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Thursday became the last British minister to refuse to describe the British government’s exit strategy from the closure.

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British ministers are closely monitoring how other European countries – notably Italy – are ending their lockdown and whether there is a resurgence of the virus. “We are lucky in the sense that they are two weeks ahead of us,” said a ministerial assistant.

Business secretary Alok Sharma wrote to companies this month explaining how they could continue to operate even when physical separation of the 2-meter workers was not possible.

Automakers and automakers announced on Thursday that they will resume work next month.

Taylor Wimpey, one of the UK’s largest home builders, said his construction sites would reopen on May 4. Car manufacturers Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin have announced that they will resume production next month.

The British government has asked companies to stress the importance of hand washing and to avoid face-to-face contact, as well as the posting of marks on the floor indicating a distance of 2 meters between workers in the workplace. ‘factory.

When the lockout restrictions start to loosen, ministers should stress the continued importance of working from home as much as possible, with staggered schedules to avoid rush hour congestion on public transportation.

The wearing of face covers in public transport and in stores – although they are not surgical masks – should also be recommended by the ministers in the coming days, following a review by scientific advisers.

“When the lock starts to loosen, we want to make sure it is safe and that people feel safe,” said an ally of Sharma.

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