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Iran Press TV

Sturgeon announces significant easing of lockdown measures beginning mid-July

Iran Press TV

Wednesday, 24 June 2020 5:54 PM

The Scottish government has announced a substantial reduction in lockdown measures beginning on July 15.

Pubs and restaurants are set to open in mid-July, whilst household mingling can start even earlier on July 10.

Announcing the new measures, Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said the five-mile travel limit will be lifted from July 03.

Hairdressers and barbers will be allowed to re-open on July 15, the same day when most restrictions are set to be lifted.

But crucially Sturgeon did not announce a reduction to the social distancing rule of two meters.

This sets Sturgeon firmly apart from Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who yesterday reduced the social distancing requirement in England from two meters to "one meter plus", to take effect on July 04.

Johnson has come under sharp criticism for unlocking vast swathes of the UK economy too fast and too soon.

The criticism has been led by British health leaders who have warned that the effective end to the lockdown on July 04 risks a second wave of COVID-19 infections.

Taking a swipe at Johnson's apparent prioritizing of profit over public health, Sturgeon said Scotland's slower pace in exiting the lockdown (compared to England) is "in my view right for our circumstances and I hope more likely to be sustainable than if we went faster".

However, the Scottish Conservatives have said the delay in exiting the lockdown "will cost millions at a time when thousands of jobs are already on the line".

"Scotland has to look on while the rest of the UK and Europe resumes normal life", the Tory party in Scotland retorted.

But Sturgeon hit back immediately by proclaiming she is not prepared to take part in "some kind of reckless race" with other nations of the UK, dismissing the Tory criticism as "grubby political opportunism at a time of national crisis".

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