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Lockdown likely to ease, but if you're shielding... keep it up, says Scottish Government

THE next steps along the roadmap to the ending of lockdown restrictions is likely to come on 18 June, the First Minister has said. However, people shielding because of underlying health conditions have been told they should keep self-isolating, although outdoors exercise is now allowed. Nicola Sturgeon said she was "optimistic" that Coronavirus restrictions could be eased further on 18 June after a second day with no recorded deaths. However, Miss Sturgeon said it was "highly likely" that more deaths would be registered in the coming days. Shielding was initially advised until 18 June but those most at risk from the virus have been told to continue until the end of July. Miss Sturgeon said changes were likely to be made to allow people shielding to exercise outdoors. The Scottish Government said: "The original advice was to shield for at least 12 weeks, which comes to an end on 18 June. The levels of infection in the community are now significantly lower than they were in March, but the evidence suggests that it is advisable that people with the highest clinical risk should continue to shield. "Having set out to save lives it does not feel right to prematurely end shielding until we are confident the evidence supports it, and we do not yet know the full effect of easing lockdown for the general population. "We are therefore advising people to continue to shield until at least 31st July. We will review this extension to the shielding period as we monitor Covid infection levels to make sure it remains the correct decision. We know this will be very disappointing news." Commenting, South Scotland MSP Emma Harper said: “Firstly, I want to acknowledge how hard it has been for people in the shielding category – these are people who are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19 because of pre-existing health issues, and who have had to remain indoors since the outbreak of the pandemic. I thank all for adhering to the rules thus far. “I'm pleased to hear, following my questions to Government, to seek clarity from the Health Secretary, that from the 18th of June those in the shielding category will be allowed to exercise outdoors. This is a welcome and positive step forward which will allow for the start of a new normal. “I encourage all across the region to continue to stick to the advice from the Scottish Government.” The latest Scottish Government advice is available at https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/

<< back Published: 08 Jun 2020, 16:00

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