Nicola Sturgeon says decision to keep Edinburgh at level three is 'not about punishing' anyone

Nicola Sturgeon said in her daily coronavirus briefing today that she understands how frustrated people in Edinburgh are but the decisions are not taken to ‘punish’ anybody.

The First Minister said: "These measures are essential to try to keep this really infectious virus under control, I understand how frustrated people in Edinburgh will be.

“This is not about punishing any area. The idea that we somehow take these decisions on the basis on well ‘we like this area or we don’t like that area’ or ‘one of us lives in one

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area…’, that’s just not a factor in our decision making and I think most people reasonable people would accept that that is not the case.

A shopper wearing a mask in Princes Street, Edinburgh picture: Jane Barlow/PA
A shopper wearing a mask in Princes Street, Edinburgh picture: Jane Barlow/PA

“I want every part of Scotland to be living as freely as possible as quickly as possible, but I have a duty to try to keep the country as safe as possible and that means trying to

suppress the virus."

Ms Sturgeon said that she wished the decisions were “as easy as following an algorithm” but they are not.

She continued: “I’ve looked at more data for every single part of the country on a daily basis than I have ever done in the rest of my life put together, over the past few months. I

Nicola Sturgeon says the decisions are not about publishing anyone

spend huge parts of my day looking at data, questioning data, asking people like Jason Leitch questions about what the data means and what the correct interpretation on the data

is, it is really, really important.”

She went on to explain the reasoning behind keeping Edinburgh in level three while other health board areas have been moved down a level.

She said: “After Great Glasgow and Clyde, the part of the country with the highest number of daily cases at the moment is Lothian, and within that, Edinburgh, in recent days has

seen a bit of an increase in cases.”

The First Minister added: “These are really tough decisions and they are decisions that we take very, very carefully and I hope we will see Edinburgh move down a level in the

weeks to come, we will review it again next week but we have to be careful about this or in a few weeks time you will be asking me why we’ve done something that has sent

Edinburgh’s case skyrocketing again.”

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