Nicola Sturgeon sends warning to Boris over four-nation breakdown – ‘Differences all along | UK | News


Concerns were raised by Professor Linda Bauld, Professor of Public Health at Edinburgh University, who said that the UK had diverged from using a four nations approach to tackle coronavirus. It comes as the “rule of six” comes into force across the UK today, meaning any social gatherings of more than six people will break the law.

People face fines of up to £3,200 if they do not abide by the new measure, which applies to both indoor and outdoor settings and follows a rapid increase in the number of daily positive cases.

In England, gatherings of more than six people in all settings and of all ages are illegal whilst in Scotland, a maximum of six people from two households are allowed to meet together  but children under 12 are exempt. 

But in Wales, people are only able to meet in groups of six or under indoors and must all belong to the same extended household group with upto four households being able to join together to form an extended household.

When talking about the differences in restrictive measures brought in to several areas across the UK, Professor Bauld said: “We are well off that.”

Nicola sturgeon news scotland coronavirus update

Nicola Sturgeon defended Scotland’s approach to tackling COVID-19 (Image: Scottish Government/Express Newspapers )

nicola sturgeon news coronavirus backlog

Nicola Sturgeon spoke during today’s briefing (Image: Scottish Government/Express Newspapers )

Professor Bauld, added: “The differences are minor… but what I am concerned about is the mixing of households.

“In England, it’s six people from any household, but then children are included including a baby which doesn’t quite make sense to me, and then in Scotland, it’s a maximum of two households.”

When asked about the comments by the Express.co.uk at today’s Scottish Government’s COVID-19 briefing, Ms Sturgeon said: “As First Minister, with the Health Secretary and the Government here, we’ve got to make decisions that in our best judgement are right for Scotland. 

“Sometimes that has led to an aligned position with the UK and sometimes that has led us to a slightly different position, that’s been true of Wales and Northern Ireland. 

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nicola sturgeon news scotland coronavirus update

Academics raised concerns about the UK approach over the weekend (Image: Getty )

“I think we can overstate the degree or potential for confusion, people tend to know which part of the UK they live in so they know which Government to look to for the rules. 

“While with the so-called rule of six there are differences in the detail, I think actually all four administrations are saying no more than six people. 

“So in terms of a UK wide message, that is probably not an unhelpful position to be in but people for the detail of it know which Government to look to to get their information.

“We have to continue to take all of the decisions we think are best. Remember, there have been differences all along.”

But she stressed that the rules relating to the Rule of Six were “perhaps more aligned now” with differences in detail.

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Coronavirus test delays have been reported across the UK (Image: EXPRESS.CO.UK)

Ms Sturgeon also said she has “serious concern” with the “backlog of test results” for COVID-19.

She urged Westminster’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock to share the “full scale and nature of issues they are facing” so her government could assist in alleviating them.

Announcing 70 new coronavirus cases north of the border in the past 24 hours, she warned she does not believe the figures are complete.

The First Minister added: “I have a very serious concern that the backlog of test results being faced by the UK laboratory network is starting to impact on the timeous reporting of Scottish results.”

 

Rule of Six

The Rule of Six comes into force across the UK today (Image: Getty)

The latest figures show 22,749 people have now tested positive in Scotland, up from 22,679 the day before.

This is 2.7 percent of newly-tested individuals, down from 3.2 percent on Sunday.

No deaths of confirmed COVID-19 patients have been recorded in the past 24 hours and the number of fatalities under this measure remains at 2,499.

There are 264 people in hospital confirmed to have the virus, up by five in 24 hours. 

Of these patients, seven were in intensive care, the same as the previous day.

The First Minister also said more than 900,000 people have downloaded the Protect Scotland coronavirus contact tracing app since its launch last week.





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