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Coronavirus / First minister issues fresh Covid reminder amid ‘sharp rise’ in cases

Reimposing restrictions can’t be ruled out, Sturgeon says

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Photo: Scottish Government

FIRST minister Nicola Sturgeon says the steep rise in Covid cases in Scotland is a cause for concern – but she reiterated that the vaccine is weakening the link to ill health.

Earlier this month Scotland moved ‘beyond level zero’, with restrictions around social distancing largely removed.

There was always an understanding that cases would rise, but the success of the vaccination programme in reducing hospital admissions meant the government was confident in easing restrictions.

But Sturgeon said during a briefing on Tuesday there was a “sharp rise” in cases across Scotland in the last week.

She said the country is at a “fragile and another potentially pivotal moment” in the journey through the pandemic.

There were 4,323 new cases reported yesterday (Monday) – the highest daily total recorded to date, although more tests are now taking place.

There have also been ten new deaths in Scotland.

Around one third of new cases were among people who were double vaccinated. Half of new cases being recorded are in those under the age of 25.

In the last two days a total of 12 cases have been reported in Shetland.

Sturgeon warned that the link between Covid cases and ill health has not been broken despite the vaccination programme.

She said the government cannot rule out reimposing restrictions if numbers around serious illness merited doing so.

The first minister also issued a fresh plea for people to be mindful of the pandemic.

She encouraged people to:

  • Get vaccinated
  • Get tested regularly
  • Stick to the rules ie wearing face coverings in public indoor places
  • Limit unnecessary contacts
  • Avoid crowded indoor places

Meanwhile Sturgeon also confirmed a public inquiry into the Scottish Government’s handling of the pandemic will be established by the end of 2020.

She said it will take a “person centred, human rights based approach”.