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Covid Scotland LIVE: Nicola Sturgeon set to announce whether Scotland’s coronavirus restrictions can be eased

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will give the latest coronavirus update for Scotland on Tuesday.

You can follow all the updates from the First Minister’s briefing, as well as all the day’s other coronvirus news, here.

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Last updated: Tuesday, 13 July, 2021, 07:56

  • Sturgeon to announce whether coronavirus restrictions will be eased
  • Scottish Parliament recalled from the summer recess
  • FM hopes to move the whole country to Level 0 from July 19

Call for more education on mask wearing

Professor John Drury called for more education for the public on mask-wearing and risk after Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that most mandatory coronavirus restrictions would end next week.

The social psychologist at the University of Sussex and member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours (Spi-B) told LBC: “The Government talks about the word ‘advisory’, but at the very least, there needs to be a concerted programme of public engagement, I mean we don’t really see that.

“Where is the communication, the dialogue, the education?

“They need to explain and talk to people about how masks work, that they work, that they are one of the most important mitigations that may protect others.”

He added: “The point about personal responsibility is interesting – it’s always been the case that personal responsibility has been stressed, but there was a publication from Spi-B recently that said that needs to be backed up with capacity.

“You need to support people with education: How can they make risk assessments? Do they know the different risks indoors and outdoors?

“And where is that to backup that personal responsibility?”

WHO says ‘too early to be talking about massive relaxation’

A World Health Organisation special envoy on Covid-19 has said it is “too early to be talking about massive relaxation or freedom” despite the UK’s rollout of vaccines.

Dr David Nabarro told Radio 4’s Today programme the “pandemic is advancing ferociously around the world” and that “I don’t think we’ve anywhere near got through the worst of it”.

Asked about the Government’s switch to personal responsibility, he said: “All this doesn’t quite fit with the position that was taken by Britain, along with other nations, some months ago when there was a real effort to try to prevent large numbers of people getting the disease, partly because of the risk of death and partly because of the recognition of the risk of long Covid.

“It’s necessary to be unequivocal on this particular challenge. What does urging caution mean? It’s important that everybody knows the best possible advice on how to prevent themselves being infected.

“I accept that vaccination has changed the nature of the equation in the UK but quite honestly from any point of view it’s too early to be talking about massive relaxation or freedom when the outbreak curve is on such a sharp ascent.

“Yes, relax, but don’t have these mixed messages about what’s going on. This dangerous virus hasn’t gone away, it’s variants are coming back and are threatening those who have already been vaccinated – we have to take it seriously.”

Doctors’ leaders criticise Johnson’s ‘irresponsible’ lockdown lifting

Doctors’ leaders have condemned Boris Johnson’s “irresponsible” decision to press ahead with lockdown lifting in England despite Covid-19 infections continuing to surge.

The British Medical Association (BMA) warned of “potentially devastating consequences” after the Prime Minister confirmed on Monday that most mandatory restrictions will end next week.

At a Downing Street news conference, Mr Johnson acknowledged the pandemic “is not over” and appealed to people to proceed with caution.

At the same time, he said postponing the easing of restrictions into the autumn would risk reopening at a time when schools are back from their summer holidays and people are spending more time indoors as the weather turns cold.

However Dr Chaand Nagpaul, the BMA council chair, said that by going ahead on July 19, the Government was reneging on its promise to be led by the data and the impact on the NHS.

He said scrapping restrictions while a significant proportion of the population was still not fully vaccinated, would allow the virus to “retighten its grip”, driving up infections and hospitalisations and putting more lives at risk.

“It’s irresponsible – and frankly perilous – that the Government has decided to press ahead with plans to lift the remaining Covid-19 restrictions on July 19,” he said.

Climate change should be treated as emergency like Covid pandemic – study

Climate change should be treated as an emergency in the same way as the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new study.

The report also recommends that governments should keep keep the public informed about climate emergencies in the same way they have with data during the pandemic, with real-time reporting about loss of life and the damage caused by the impact of adverse weather.

Led by the Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) Centre for Climate Justice, the study focused on the experiences of policymakers in parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

A common concern reported in the research was a fear that resources channelled towards the pandemic response would detract from resources previously allocated to climate action, or that there would be a “downright reduction” of financial commitments.

The study recommends that industrialised nations must be encouraged to commit higher levels of financial support and technology transfer to the developing world.

Researchers also looked at how the pandemic has affected the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), national plans for climate action submitted by countries under the Paris Agreement in 2015.

The research consortium included the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) and academic partners in Africa.

Sturgeon to announce whether coronavirus restrictions will be eased

Nicola Sturgeon is set to announce whether Scotland’s coronavirus restrictions can be eased as planned on Monday.

The First Minister has said she hopes to move the whole country to Level 0 from July 19, depending on the latest case numbers, hospital admissions and the vaccination rollout.

Level 0 would reduce the two-metre distancing rule to one metre in indoor public spaces.

Indoor gathering restrictions would be further lifted to allow up to eight people from up to three households to meet.

The 11pm closure time for pubs operating indoors will also be scrapped, with local licensing conditions applying instead.

But nightclubs and adult entertainment will have to remain shut.

July 19 is expected to be the date when all Scottish adults will have been offered their first vaccine dose as well as being three weeks on from over-50s being double jabbed.

The Scottish Parliament has been recalled from the summer recess for Ms Sturgeon’s announcement.

www.scotsman.com

The Scotsman

The Scotsman is a Scottish compact newspaper and daily news website headquartered in Edinburgh. First established as a radical political paper in 1817, it began daily publication in 1855 and remained a broadsheet until August 2004. Its parent company, JPIMedia, also publishes the Edinburgh Evening News.

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