Nicola Sturgeon 'determined' to allow Scots to see loved ones at Christmas

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she is “determined” to try and allow people to see loved ones at Christmas.

By Elsa Maishman
Wednesday, 18th November 2020, 5:49 pm

Speaking at the daily Covid-19 briefing on Wednesday, Ms Sturgeon said discussions were ongoing around what the rules will be at Christmas time.

But she said it would be better to “treat people like grown-ups” and give them leeway to see family, rather than keeping restrictions so tight that people will try to get round them.

“We do want to allow people - and it will be within limits - to see people that right now they are not able to see because of the very strict ban on household mixing,” she said.

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“I want people to have the ability to see loved ones at Christmas," said Nicola Sturgeon.

Ms Sturgeon said she believed the vast majority of people would adhere to any more relaxed rules brought in over the Christmas period, based on experience of how people have behaved so far during the pandemic.

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But such a reduction in restrictions would lead to higher spread of the virus, she said, adding this may be mitigated by bringing infection levels down in the weeks leading up to the festive season – one of her justifications for putting 11 local authority areas into level four restrictions.

Interim Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dave Caesar said Covid-19 “doesn’t take a day off”, and that people must understand the implications of what might come at Christmas.

“I want people to have the ability to see loved ones at Christmas – I want to see loved ones at Christmas – and we're determined to try to make that possible,” Ms Sturgeon said.

“As I said yesterday, it's one of the reasons for taking these decisions. But equally … I want to do that, if possible, in a way that also minimises the risk of me standing at this podium in late January reporting really horrible numbers of people who have died because of infections that they've picked up over the Christmas period.

“Like so much with this virus, we're trying to strike the right balance. But we all understand from our personal feelings as well as more generally the importance for people at Christmas, and that is a key consideration for all of us right now.”

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