Jason Leitch: 'Every sector thinks it is not them spreading Covid-19'

The national clinical director has said as much as he wishes he could go out for a meal, transmission is happening wherever people meet and Covid-19 spreads in every sector.

Jason Leitch has said every sector complains that it is not them spreading Covid-19
Jason Leitch has said every sector complains that it is not them spreading Covid-19

Professor Jason Leitch was answering questions from journalists during the Scottish government’s daily briefing and was pressed on why high-end restaurants and cinemas were being forced to close at the higher levels.

Cinemas will have to close their doors to visitors in level three areas, while high-end restaurants will not be able to sell alcohol at level three.

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Prof Leitch said: "Every sector thinks the transmission isn’t happening in their sector so what you described as higher level restaurants tell me that the transmission is not happening there.

"So do the cafes, so does everything in between the high level restaurants and the cafes, but it is happening somewhere.”

"That can only happen in the few places where that is still going on, in people’s households, in hospitality, in halls of residence, in universities, colleges and schools etc. etc.

"In the last seven day data I saw there will still 1,000 people in Test and Protect who had been for some form of hospitality interaction.

"They may not have caught it in, but they were in that household interaction.

"Unless you close down completely you cannot eradicate that household interaction completely but that is what we need people to do.

"I am now increasingly confident that what we are doing works, it just takes a while to work.”

John Swinney, the deputy first minister, stood in for Nicola Sturgeon and clarified what constitutes a “main meal” which allows alcohol sales in restaurants at level two.

He said: “The meal might be expected to be served as the main midday or main evening meal.

"There’s a specification in the regulations of the nature and the character of the meal.

"What restaurants and cafes and other facilities have to then interpret is what’s a reasonable way to implement that and ensure that somebody turning up and having a drink and a packet of crisps would quite clearly fall foul of that particular requirement.

"If we were to try to specify in more detail, I think we might be in danger in getting down to ‘meat and two veg’ criteria if that is the degree of specification.”

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