3 million Scots ‘let down’ and ‘left in limbo’

The SNP Government has left 14 councils and 2.96 million people across Scotland “in limbo” by keeping whole areas stuck in level two Covid restrictions, the Scottish Conservatives have said.

Douglas Ross said the decision was a “disappointing setback” when people are already “at the end of their tether” after a year of disruption to their lives.

The Scottish Conservatives have argued that Scotland should move to level one from 7 June, with a new approach of targeted interventions where local outbreaks occur, instead of “sweeping”, “out of date” council-wide measures.

Responding to the First Minister’s statement, Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross said today’s announcement was the “wrong move”.

He said more emphasis had to be placed on the impact of restrictions on “businesses, jobs and people’s mental and physical health.”

Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross said: “I had hoped to say that today’s statement was, at least broadly, a move in the right direction.

“But for people all over the country – in 14 council areas – this is a disappointing setback.

“Half of the country will move forward, the rest remains stuck in limbo, with no clear idea of when restrictions will ease.

“We understand the need for caution. But we also believe more emphasis needs to be placed on the impact of these restrictions on businesses, jobs, and people’s mental and physical health.

“The Scottish Conservatives believe a more local approach is necessary, with targeted interventions to tackle local outbreaks, instead of sweeping measures.

“The approach of council-wide restrictions is now out of date. It was designed before we had an effective, successful vaccination scheme that has now delivered 3.2 million first jags.

“Keeping whole councils or cities in level two is not a targeted, local approach.

“It will be a real let down to people across Scotland that Nicola Sturgeon has refused to consider a more targeted approach, instead of council and city-wide restrictions.

“There will be even more raw frustration at the lack of answers from the First Minister on extra business support or speeding up the vaccine scheme where outbreaks occur.

“When hospitalisations are so low and there appears to be no immediate risk of our NHS being overwhelmed, the public deserves more information about the ‘severe pressure’ that Nicola Sturgeon claims the NHS could be under imminently.

“After a year of disruption to their lives, people really are at the end of their tether. Slamming on the brakes of Scotland’s exit from restrictions is the wrong move.”

Notes

The 2.96 million figure is from the following statistics:  NRS, Mid-2019 Population Estimates, 30 April 2020, link.

City of Edinburgh

524,930

Clackmannanshire

51,540

Dundee City

149,320

East Ayrshire

122,010

East Dunbartonshire

108,640

East Renfrewshire

95,530

Glasgow City

633,120

Midlothian

92,460

North Ayrshire

134,740

North Lanarkshire

341,370

Renfrewshire

179,100

South Ayrshire

112,610

South Lanarkshire

320,530

Stirling

94,210

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