First minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that Scotland’s coronavirus lockdown is to be extended, warning that a lift of restrictions would be “very very risky”.
The news comes ahead of prime minister Boris Johnson’s announcement on Sunday regarding the UK’s lockdown stance.
Sturgeon said she was to meet with the prime minister later today, but that she ”will not be pressured into lifting restrictions prematurely, before I am as certain as I can be that we will not be risking a resurgence of infection rates”.
There has been much speculation around the changes that Johnson may make to lockdown restrictions, including the possible clarification around opening dates for non-essential stores.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has called for the government to let retailers decide when they are ready to open.
In a letter to the government Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive, said: ”I read with alarm that in the first phase of lifting lockdown restrictions the government is to prioritise small shops for reopening. This approach provides the least economic benefit and poses the greatest risk to health. It is the worst of both worlds.
”Safety should be the only basis for making decisions on reopening; size of shop should not come into it. Retailers have made detailed plans, based on BRC-Usdaw guidance and the hard-won experience of retailers operating during lockdown. They will make a risk assessment: if it is safe, they will open and get people back to work; if it isn’t, they will not.”