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Nicola Sturgeon extends lockdown

PA

Nicola Sturgeon extends lockdown

Nicola Sturgeon has extended the lockdown introduced in response to coronavirus, with the First Minister saying it is still too early to risk lifting restrictions.

Warning that the infection rate in Scotland "might still be higher than in other parts of the UK", Sturgeon said she "will not be pressured into lifting restrictions prematurely, until I am as certain as I can be that we will not be risking a resurgence in infection rates".

The announcement came ahead of a meeting with Boris Johnson later today, amid reports the Prime Minister is considering relaxing restrictions from the start of next week to allow more time outdoors and some businesses to reopen.

But while Sturgeon said she would consider relaxing restrictions on outdoor exercise if scientific evidence justified it, speaking at the Scottish Government’s daily briefing, the FM said she would “err on the side of caution”.

She said: "Extreme caution is required at this critical juncture to avoid a rapid resurgence of the virus.

"It is not an exaggeration to say decisions now are a matter of life and death."

Although the FM and other leaders in the UK are required to review lockdown arrangements, in the context of the spread of the virus, every three weeks, Sturgeon added that "we can make changes to regulations before then if the evidence suggests it is safe to do so".

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