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Nicola Sturgeon urged to follow Boris Johnson’s lead and speed up reopening

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Nicola Sturgeon has been urged to speed up Scotland’s exit from lockdown.

Yesterday saw the reopening of hairdressers, housewares and garden centers, and the resumption of some non-essential click and collect retail services.

Under the current framework, the next easing of restrictions will take place on April 26.

However, Boris Johnson confirmed last night that all pubs, shops and gyms in England will be able to reopen next Monday.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross with more than 2.5 million people in Scotland now vaccinated, the Scottish government is expected to seek to get back to normal “a little faster” than expected.

Sturgeon – who is due to give her a regular update on the status of the pandemic this afternoon – has previously suggested she could ‘speed up’ Scotland’s exit from lockdown if there is progress in the process. virus removal.

“I have always said that if we could go further and faster, we would not hesitate to do it,” she told MSPs in early March.

The latest government statistics recorded 248 new cases and no deaths in the past 24 hours.

The positivity of the tests had fallen to 2.5%, from 2.7% on Sunday.

Ross said it was time for the government to have more hope.

He said: “The vaccination program has been a tremendous Scottish and British success.

“It is proven once again that we are better off working together across the UK.

“But more than that, it opened up the possibility of bringing the country back to normal a little faster than we could have imagined just a few months ago.

“While we cannot lose sight of the health crisis or the looming jobs crisis, public health data is now much more encouraging.

“We need to continue to be cautious, but now we can start to hope for a more optimistic easing of restrictions.

“Nicola Sturgeon must outline a more promising plan in her BBC briefing today.”

Responding to Ross, Mairi Gougeon, SNP Public Health Minister and candidate for Angus North & Mearns, said: “The successful deployment of the vaccine is due to the heroic efforts of our NHS staff, the military and volunteers – with the NHS Scotland program vaccinating over 2.5 million people to date.

“Throughout this pandemic, the Scottish Government of the SNP has followed public health and scientific advice to ensure that we are doing all we can to protect people’s lives.

“And it is because of the brilliant, collective efforts of citizens across Scotland to play by the rules in these extremely difficult times that we are able to ease restrictions. No one should diminish the efforts of citizens across Scotland. Scotland.

“With the light at the end of the tunnel getting brighter, an SNP government will continue – as it has done over the past year – to focus on tackling the pandemic to keep the world safe. Scotland.

“The question in this election is who do we trust to ensure a fair recovery for Scotland – the Scots or Boris Johnson? Only the two SNP votes on May 6 can put Scotland’s future between Scotland’s hands – not Boris Johnson’s. “

During a briefing in Downing Street, Johnson confirmed he would move on to the next phase of his non-lockdown roadmap from April 12.

This means that stores, pubs and restaurants can reopen for the first time in more than three months.

People will also be able to travel across England and stay in self-catering accommodation.

Johnson said he would mark the occasion himself by “going to the pub” and “cautiously, but irreversibly, raising a pint of beer.”

It also seems increasingly likely that COVID status certificates will become commonplace in the coming months – despite fierce political opposition.

According to documents released last night by the British government, vaccine passports “could have an important role to play both nationally and internationally, as a temporary measure”.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said the Scottish government is also considering a similar program.

She told the BBC: “We are currently examining what would be the digital infrastructure that you would need for any form of certification, as we work on these ethical, equality and practical issues of how it could be used and in which circumstances.”

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