Sturgeon warns next few days ‘crucial’ in deciding return of restrictions

NICOLA Sturgeon has warned the NHS will come under “even more severe pressure” if the recent surge in coronavirus cases continues. 

The First Minister said the next few days will prove crucial in assessing whether restrictions could have to be reimposed in Scotland

She said the increase in cases has been “extremely concerning”.

Case levels in Scotland are 80 per cent higher now than they were last week, she said, and five times higher than they were four weeks ago.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Just as vaccines have changed the game for us in a very good way, [the] Delta [variant] has changed it in a very challenging way.

“That has been very evident to us in the last few weeks.

“That is why we have been reminding the public in recent days that – if we are to avoid any re-imposition of restrictions, even in a limited way, as we all want to do – we must all play our part to slow transmission.

“We have been urging everyone to comply with all the basic mitigations still in place – face coverings for example – and to follow all public health advice.

“If we all do that…I am hopeful that we can turn the corner without having to reimpose any restrictions.

“But the next few days will be crucial in our assessment.

“And what is inescapably the case is that we must turn the corner and see the sharp increase in cases level off and then come down.”

Addressing MSPs in Holyrood, Ms Sturgeon announced plans for a vaccine certification system in Scotland for nightclubs and large events.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon announces vaccine certificate plan in update

She said the link between new cases and serious health harm “is now much weaker” but “has not been completely broken”.

She said: “If the recent surge in cases was to continue – if, for instance, we were to see cases continuing to rise to 10,000 or more a day, something I hope won’t happen, but is by no means impossible – that will have serious consequences.

“A lot of people will fall seriously ill. Some will die.

“And the NHS will come under even more severe pressure.”

She added: “Obviously, it would not be responsible for any government in the face of this virus – and the harm it can still do – to rule out re-introducing any restrictions. Indeed, it would be grossly irresponsible.

“However, we do not want to re-impose restrictions, even in a limited way. We know only too well how much harm restrictions cause to businesses, young people’s education, and to our overall wellbeing.

“But if that is to be avoided – as I hope it can be – it will take all of us making a conscious and concerted effort again to comply with all the basic mitigations that we know can slow down transmission.”

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992