‘Care and vigilance’ required as Scotland COVID cases remain high, says First Minister
Nicola Sturgeon has called for “renewed care and vigilance” following a sharp rise in COVID cases in Scotland.
Monday saw Scotland record the highest number of positive tests since the pandemic began at 3,265 cases.
That number fell slightly to 3,118 new cases on Tuesday, though the figure is still well above peaks in previous waves.
The First Minister said the virus was being passed on at its highest rate since the start of the pandemic in large part due to the Delta variant being more transmissible.
But she added early indications suggested the peak had now passed and there has been a “slight slowing” of transmission.
Data also indicates Scotland has lower population immunity (approximately by 8-10 per cent) than elsewhere in the UK, which partly explains why case numbers north of the border are higher than in England or Wales.
While acknowledging rising case numbers were a “cause for concern”, Sturgeon said the government was still planning to lift restrictions in the coming weeks.
She said: “We do remain hopeful that we will be able to continue lifting restrictions, first on 19 July and ultimately on 9 August. But – and this is an important but – how safely we get there depends on what we do now.
“This is a critical moment. I really can’t stress that enough. Over the next few weeks, it demands renewed care and vigilance from all of us.”
The number of people currently in hospital with COVID-19 is 215, 20 of whom are in intensive care. One person has died in the last 24 hours.
Today’s figures show 3,781,887 people have had their first jag and 2,701,195 are double dosed.
The First Minister also confirmed the travel restriction between Scotland and Manchester, Salford and Bolton were being lifted less than two weeks after they were implemented.
She explained this was because there was “no longer a significant difference” between these cities and Scotland.
Manchester mayor Andy Burnham welcomed the move. The two clashed over decision last week.
He said: “I had serious concerns about this travel ban and the way it was introduced… I am grateful to the First Minister and to the Scottish Government for listening and for the decision they have announced today.”
Restrictions remain in place between Scotland and parts of Blackburn.