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Homeland Security

Scotland's First Minister: Too Soon to Lift Restrictions

By VOA News May 07, 2020

Scotland's First Minister says she believes the country needs to extend its COVID 19-related lockdown, despite British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's desire to lift restrictions next week.

In her regular briefing Thursday in Edinburgh, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said her government's assessment of the evidence leads her to conclude the lockdown there must be extended.

Her decision comes one day after Johnson told Parliament he would announce Sunday when "a very limited" easing COVID-related restrictions would begin. He had said he would be guided by science and would advance with maximum caution, but he also noted Wednesday he hoped the easing could start next week.

Sturgeon said she "very much welcomes" any discussion about the COVID restrictions with the prime minister. She said she would tell him it is her preference, if possible, for all British governments to make changes together. But she said if Johnson wants to move at faster pace, that is his right. But she must do what is right and safe for Scotland.

Sturgeon said she is working on program to test, trace and isolate COVID cases in Scotland. To that end, she would like to increase testing to about 15,500 per day. As as many as 2,000 tracers will be needed to track those who have been in contact with COVID cases.

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