Scotland's lockdown ‘must be extended', says Sturgeon
Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that the country's lockdown restrictions "must be extended".
Speaking at today's daily briefing, she said: "Our assessment of the evidence leads me to the conclusion that the lockdown must be extended at this stage."
Sturgeon said there were "still significant numbers of people in Scotland infected with the virus" and the government is "not yet confident that the all-important r number is below one", adding that Scotland "may be at a different and slightly later stage of the infection curve" compared to other areas of the UK.
She added that she could not confirm if the prime minister is expected to announce an easing in lockdown measures later this week and that no changes have yet been discussed with the Scottish government, however, Boris Johnson has requested a call with the devolved governments later today.
She said she had a "preference for all four UK nations to make changes together at the same pace" to ensure "clear, consistent messages to the public".
However, she added: "If the prime minister decides that he wants to move at a faster pace for England than is right for Scotland, that is of course his right… but I must make judgements informed by the evidence that are right and safe for Scotland. I will not be pressured in lifting restrictions prematurely."
More details are expected to be published by the Scottish government at 2pm. Scotland will be due to review its lockdown policies in three weeks (28 May), although Sturgeon said changes can be made before then if the evidence suggests it is safe to do so.
In Scotland there have been 12,924 recorded positive cases of Covid-19; there are 1,587 patients in hospital with suspected or confirmed Covid-19; and in the past 24 hours there have been 59 deaths of patients who had been confirmed as having coronavirus.