Sturgeon’s deputy rejects No10’s COVID roadmap and warns of harsher crackdown in Scotland

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Deputy first minister John Swinney urged the public to follow Scotland’s latest guidelines which go further than England’s with a ban on household visits. He noted that if COVID cases go the wrong way despite the restrictions, the Scottish government would take further action. Nicola Sturgeon also said she would be reviewing the new measures every three weeks unlike Boris Johnson who estimated England’s new plans would be in place for up to six months.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Mr Swinney said: “We’ve said that we will review all of these restrictions on a three weekly basis and we’ve taken that approach throughout the relaxation of lockdown and we will continue in that approach going forward.

“None of us want to have these restrictions in place for a moment longer and the First Minister was really open with parliament about how tough we all find this to be applying these restrictions further.

“We will be continuing to review the situation.

“Obivously the more public compliance we’re able to secure, the more successful we will be and the shorter these regulations will have to be in place.

“All the evidence demonstrates to us that this virus only spreads because of the bridges created by humans and if we can minimise those bridges, we have the opportunity to suppress the virus and be able to get back to a bit more normality.

“But that requires government to take tough decisions and the public to work with us to take those decisions forward.”

He added: “We will be looking at all of the data, all of the information.

“We can see a steady rise in cases and we can rises in admissions to hospital.

“If we see all of the indicators that we watch very closely going in the wrong direction, we will of course have to take further action.

“But we will try to avoid that with the steps that we take.”

Ms Sturgeon has accepted that the latest coronavirus restrictions may feel like a “step backwards”, but urged Scots to stick with them anyway, insisting they “will make a difference”.

The Scottish First Minister addressed the nation after she announced a ban on indoor household visits and a curfew for pubs and restaurants.

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It came as part of a package of measures to try to stop coronavirus from “spiralling out of control” in Scotland.

Ms Sturgeon said: “The last six months have been unprecedented.

“They’ve been the hardest many of us have ever lived through.

“But through our collective efforts across Scotland, we did beat COVID back.”

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