LiveNicola Sturgeon briefing RECAP: First Minister to give briefing as county experiences first day of tiered restrictions
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Nicola Sturgeon briefing LIVE: 951 new cases and no deaths as county experiences first day of tiered restrictions
Last updated: Monday, 02 November, 2020, 13:20
- 1,225 people in hospital with coronavirus and 93 in intensive care
- Uncertainty remains around furlough scheme extension for Scotland
- England prepares to go into a full four-week lockdown
Scotland’s surgery backlog nearly tripled over the first four months of the coronavirus pandemic, sparking fresh calls for ‘low risk’ zones in hospitals where operations can take place to avoid another “crisis” - especially for cancer treatment.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon closes the briefing reminding people to follow FACTS and to stick to the current guidelines imposed in each local authority
Weekly update: 14 areas in Scotland with the highest coronavirus rates according to latest data
Dr Gregor Smith: There’s no evidence there’s much different between these different strains at the moment (referencing the ‘Spanish’ strain).
“At this moment in time it’s not helpful to focus on one strain because no matter where these strains come from they all have an impact on individuals.”
When asked about the ‘Spanish’ strain of the coronavirus Ms Sturgeon passed over to Dr Gregor Smith, but reiterated people should not be travelling to Spain, or abroad, at this time
Describing the “dilemma” the Scottish Government now faces, Ms Sturgeon added:
"The decision, we have to weigh up in coming days is this one - should we take the opportunity of more generous financial support to step harder on the brakes now, to try to drive infection rates down faster and more firmly.
"The potential benefit of that would be suppressing Covid further and faster, at a time when financial support is available and possibly - I don't want to overstate this - but possibly opening up a bit more breathing space over the Christmas period."
The First Minister has said she will consider whether to impose another national lockdown in Scotland now the furlough scheme has been extended.
FM: "I made clear last week, when I set out the levels that would apply initially, that we might yet have to go further and that we can't rule out - and shouldn't rule out - a move to Level 4 for all or parts of the country.
"And while that decision would never be easy, there is no doubt that the availability of a more extensive furlough scheme of the kind that the Prime Minister announced on Saturday would make it slightly less difficult because workers would have more of their wages paid."
‘Westminster has only acted when the south of England needs support,’ Ian Blackford on UK Government’s approach to furlough
SNP MP Ian Blackford criticises the UK Government’s approach with regards to the furlough scheme
Having wanted a four nation approach at the start of the pandemic, Nicola Sturgeon now confirms that each nation needs to tackle their own issues with their own set of rules
FM: “I am hopeful that we will get some clarity from the Treasury later on, that doesn't mean we suddenly escape tough decisions, but that would mean we'd continue to take those decisions in a proper, measured, timely way in Scotland - taking account of our own data."
FM: “But we can’t put off vital decisions while we have a debate with the Treasury, because the virus doesn’t stop spreading while we do that. That’s why I hope we get absolute clarity on that point from the Treasury today.”
FM: “I, with colleagues in the Welsh and Northern Irish governments, have pressed that point at the Cobra meeting which has just concluded.”
FM: “Now, we continue to press the case that it should be available to devolved administrations whenever it is needed, and I think most reasonable people would think that is the fair position.”
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