Coronavirus in Scotland: Prof Linda Bauld says public may not follow guidance if restrictions are not lifted for Christmas

One of Scotland’s leading public health experts has warned there may be a problem with compliance unless there is some temporary easing of Covid restrictions over the Christmas period.

Public Health expert Professor Linda Bauld, from the University of Edinburgh, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday: “The UK generally has found this period very challenging and my fear is that we will hear from the First Minister today that (there will be) new restrictions for the west (of Scotland) for at least a couple of weeks.”

When asked if any new restrictions could be lifted for the Christmas period, she added: “I think the challenge I would see, from a behavioural perspective, is unless some progress is made towards offering that to people, there may be a problem with compliance.

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“I just think it’s so desperately difficult for people, this whole situation.

Public Health expert Professor Linda Bauld has warned Scots may not comply with Covid rules at Christmas
Public Health expert Professor Linda Bauld has warned Scots may not comply with Covid rules at Christmas

“As we move to a time where not everybody in the country, but a lot of people in the country, want to celebrate with their families, unless there is some temporary easing slightly, people will be even more unhappy and may not follow the guidance.

“We’re looking ahead to 2021. We have all heard the news about vaccines, new treatments, rapid testing, but in the winter of 2020 these kinds of restrictions are really one of the only things that Scottish Government and other governments can use.”

Speaking at the Scottish Government's daily briefing on Monday, Prof Bauld said she thought it was “highly likely” that large parts of central Scotland would be placed in level four.

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