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Scotland - Framework out of the pandemic - 23rd February 2021

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Huntergreed

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With an announcement from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon only hours away, what are your expectations for the Scottish government’s strategic framework to remove lockdown restrictions?

Nicola sturgeon has admitted she would like to broadly do things at a similar pace to the UK, however last week she also admitted she intended to pursue the “zero-COVID” (elimination) strategy. Do you think she’ll still pursue this or bring her framework in line with the roadmap announced for England yesterday?

Personally, I think that she’s entirely deluded if she thinks zero-covid is even a remotely plausible option for Scotland, however with Boris admitting he won’t go for zero COVID yesterday, I fully expect her to do this later today.
 
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scotrail158713

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I’m not full of hope, sadly. It’s not a good start that it’s called a “strategic framework” when really it’s a roadmap very much like England, but the nationalists can’t bring themselves to do that.
With the election in May though, surely we can’t be held back too much compared with England? That would be political suicide in my opinion.
(Anything is possible with the SNP though)
 

kez19

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I wish she would drop the zero covid strategy, it doesn't work and could make things worse but then again she'll pass the buck as usual.

Saying this it seems though she hasn't learnt from last summer saying this and it backfired and let alone trying to copy other countries which have failed this too but I guess its got to look good in the books for her though?
 

Scotrail12

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She's not going to really go for Zero COVID, IMO, she'll do the exact same as last summer then basically admit defeat by reopening a bunch of things slightly later than Boris. Then she'll use that as a way to blame him at the May election as she couldn't pursue it because of him (and I conveniently expect many businesses to be open by then so she doesn't totally lose the vote of business owners!)
 

duncanp

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Nicola Sturgeon must know that pursuing Zero COVID in Scotland is impossible unless England also pursues a Zero COVID strategy.

So as usual she will blame England for not being able to do what she wants, and then have a lockdown easing plan that is slightly different from Englands' just for the sake of it.

I wouldn't mind betting that "..pubs in Berwick with beer gardens.." is quite a popular search on Google in Scotland at the moment, and I am sure that the Wetherspoons in Carlisle that is right opposite the railway station and has a licensed outdoor area will see a sudden increase in the number of Scottish banknotes being used for payment on and after April 12th. <D
 
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alexf380

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I'm hoping and praying for national level 3 restrictions from 8th March, I'd even accept 15th or 22nd March. That really is the absolute best we can home for in the short term from the Scottish government IMO.
I'm doubtful that that will actually be announced though, and we'll probably be stuck in full lock down until Easter.
 

Huntergreed

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I'm hoping and praying for national level 3 restrictions from 8th March, I'd even accept 15th or 22nd March. That really is the absolute best we can home for in the short term from the Scottish government IMO.
I'm doubtful that that will actually be announced though, and we'll probably be stuck in full lock down until Easter.
Same here, but I'm expecting national tier 4 from 8th March, probably with a move towards national tier 3 towards the end of March (with areas with higher cases staying in tier 4, unless she changes her strategy from elimination to something more sensible).
 

ld0595

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Wouldn't really be too pleased with Tier 3 given that travel restrictions would still remain in place, meaning it would be even longer until I can legally see my family and friends.
 

Huntergreed

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Updates from Nicola Sturgeon in Scottish Parliament today (All notes are my own):

- Everyone on JCVI priority (all group 1-9) to be offered first jab by mid-April.
- All adults to have a first jab offered by mid July
- Vaccination do offer a route back to greater normality, however a cautious and sustainable route out of the pandemic absolutely must be taken.
- Lockdown has had an impact, down from 330 cases per 100,000 at start of January to just over 100 today. Despite this, the rate of decline is slowing, likely due to the new variant (B.1.1.7), essential to keep reproductive rate (R Number) below 1.
- Right now, we have quite limited scope to change/relax restrictions. Important to see the impact of school return on reproductive rate before further assessment of change.
- In a positive position at the current time, however caution is paramount.
- Risk of new variants means maximum suppression must remain key.
- Must rely on restrictions for a while to suppress until the vaccine can replace the protection currently offered by restrictions. Must be a gradual transition from more restrictive protection to more antibody/vaccine protection.
- Testing capacity to be expanded, including workplace and expanded community testing.
- Travel restrictions are essential for quite some time yet. Important to guard against new variants which can bypass the antibody response generated by vaccines.

Indicative timescale of the reopening of society:

Strategic framework is deliberately cautious however it is possible to accelerate these dates.

- Fully back to the levels system in the last week in April, ideally to level 3 nationally, following this local transmission rates will mean certain areas can go up/down levels. This is dependant on all JCVI list getting vaccine.
- From last week in April. non essential retail, hospitality and gyms/leisure are likely to reopen at this point when the return to the level system takes place.
- A progressive easing of level 4 restrictions between now and end of April (intervals of at least 3 weeks), priority remains education and return of schools and care home visiting.
- Care home visiting restrictions to be eased from start of March.

(Indicative from March 15th):

- Rest of primary (P4-7) return to school
- Secondary school return to school for part of their learning
- Increase outdoor mixing to 4 from 2 households from 2 to 2 households

From 5th April:

- Stay at home order will be lifted, all pupils return to school from this date.
- Communal worship can resume from this date, subject to restrictions on numbers
- 6 people from 2 households can meet outdoors.
- Essential retail can be expanded and click and collect restrictions resumed.

From 26th April:

All of Scotland returns to level 3, and economy and society will be reopened from this date onwards.
Business support will be expanded (to be explained later).

Indicative staged timetable is reasonable according to the Scottish cabinet.

Hopefully more detail offered on future easing of restrictions quite soon (15th of March).
 
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duncanp

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Updates from Nicola Sturgeon in Scottish Parliament today (All notes are my own):

- Everyone on JCVI priority (all group 1-9) to be offered first jab by mid-April.
- All adults to have a first jab offered by mid July
- Vaccination do offer a route back to greater normality, however a cautious and sustainable route out of the pandemic absolutely must be taken.
- Lockdown has had an impact, down from 330 cases per 100,000 at start of January to just over 100 today. Despite this, the rate of decline is slowing, likely due to the new variant (B.1.1.7), essential to keep reproductive rate (R Number) below 1.
- Right now, we have quite limited scope to change/relax restrictions. Important to see the impact of school return on reproductive rate before further assessment of change.
- In a positive change, however caution is paramount.
- Risk of new variants means maximum suppression must remain key.
- Must rely on restrictions for a while to suppress until the vaccine can replace the protection currently offered by restrictions. Must be a gradual transition from more restrictive protection to more antibody/vaccine protection.
- Testing capacity to be expanded, including workplace and expanded community testing.
- Travel restrictions are essential for quite some time yet. Important to guard against new variants which can bypass the antibody response generated by vaccines.

Indicative timescale of the reopening of society:

Strategic framework is deliberately cautious however it is possible to accelerate these dates.

- Fully back to the levels system in the last week in April, ideally to level 3 nationally, following this local transmission rates will mean certain areas can go up/down levels. This is dependant on all JCVI list going home.
- From last week in April. non essential retail, hospitality and gyms/leisure are likely to reopen at this point when the return to the level system takes place.
- A progressive easing of level 4 restrictions between now and end of April (intervals of at least 3 weeks), priority remains education and return of schools and care home visiting.
- Care home visiting restrictions to be eased from start of March.

(Indicative from March 15th):

- Rest of primary (P4-7) return to school
- Secondary school return to school for part of their learning
- Increase outdoor mixing to 4 from 2 households from 2 to 2 households

From 5th April:

- Stay at home order will be lifted, all pupils return to school from this date.
- Communal worship can resume from this date, subject to restrictions on numbers
- 6 people from 2 households can meet outdoors.
- Essential retail can be expanded and click and collect restrictions resumed.

From 26th April:

All of Scotland returns to level 3, and economy and society will be reopened from this date onwards.
Business support will be expanded (to be explained later).

Indicative staged timetable is reasonable according to the Scottish cabinet.

Hopefully more detail offered on future easing of restrictions quite soon (15th of March).

So she is resuming communal worship on 5th April, which is the day after Easter Sunday, the most important day of the year in the Christian calendar.

You would have thought she could amend that to April 1st, which is Maundy Thursday. As relatively few people go to church these days, I can't see this having much of an impact.

It seems that it will be quite some time before pubs in Scotland can open indoors for the service of alcoholic drinks without the purchase of a main meal, and certainly well after this is permitted in England from 17th May.

Can't help thinking there will be a lot of cross border day trips from the third Monday in May.
 

ld0595

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Hugely disappointing. This isn't a route map out of lockdown, its a map back to the tier system. Given that you can't travel in and out of level 3, it means that legally we can't leave out council area until May at the earliest...
 

kez19

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Updates from Nicola Sturgeon in Scottish Parliament today (All notes are my own):

- Everyone on JCVI priority (all group 1-9) to be offered first jab by mid-April.
- All adults to have a first jab offered by mid July
- Vaccination do offer a route back to greater normality, however a cautious and sustainable route out of the pandemic absolutely must be taken.
- Lockdown has had an impact, down from 330 cases per 100,000 at start of January to just over 100 today. Despite this, the rate of decline is slowing, likely due to the new variant (B.1.1.7), essential to keep reproductive rate (R Number) below 1.
- Right now, we have quite limited scope to change/relax restrictions. Important to see the impact of school return on reproductive rate before further assessment of change.
- In a positive position at the current time, however caution is paramount.
- Risk of new variants means maximum suppression must remain key.
- Must rely on restrictions for a while to suppress until the vaccine can replace the protection currently offered by restrictions. Must be a gradual transition from more restrictive protection to more antibody/vaccine protection.
- Testing capacity to be expanded, including workplace and expanded community testing.
- Travel restrictions are essential for quite some time yet. Important to guard against new variants which can bypass the antibody response generated by vaccines.

Indicative timescale of the reopening of society:

Strategic framework is deliberately cautious however it is possible to accelerate these dates.

- Fully back to the levels system in the last week in April, ideally to level 3 nationally, following this local transmission rates will mean certain areas can go up/down levels. This is dependant on all JCVI list getting vaccine.
- From last week in April. non essential retail, hospitality and gyms/leisure are likely to reopen at this point when the return to the level system takes place.
- A progressive easing of level 4 restrictions between now and end of April (intervals of at least 3 weeks), priority remains education and return of schools and care home visiting.
- Care home visiting restrictions to be eased from start of March.

(Indicative from March 15th):

- Rest of primary (P4-7) return to school
- Secondary school return to school for part of their learning
- Increase outdoor mixing to 4 from 2 households from 2 to 2 households

From 5th April:

- Stay at home order will be lifted, all pupils return to school from this date.
- Communal worship can resume from this date, subject to restrictions on numbers
- 6 people from 2 households can meet outdoors.
- Essential retail can be expanded and click and collect restrictions resumed.

From 26th April:

All of Scotland returns to level 3, and economy and society will be reopened from this date onwards.
Business support will be expanded (to be explained later).

Indicative staged timetable is reasonable according to the Scottish cabinet.

Hopefully more detail offered on future easing of restrictions quite soon (15th of March).


Level 4 to at least end of April then easing during April but back to previous system, yes I do wonder how she'll deal with troubled areas again.

So best bet then is by end of April we can all go out to the pub, hop on a train out of here!

I like how she says vaccination offers hope of normality thats a bit misleading as if it did (again like Boris) you be opening things up quicker than at even a slower pace than Boris is!

So Scotland is going the up to +4 weeks delay behind everyone else (bit of deja vu are we not?)
 
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RomeoCharlie71

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Northern Ireland and England both now saying March 8th for all schools to return.

Meanwhile it's April 5th at the earliest in Scotland - which is in the middle of the Easter Holidays. It will therefore be April 19th for a full-time return to school, six weeks after two of the other devolved nations have done the same thing.

And the population is legally bound to their local authority indefinitely. Fantastic.

As @ld0595 said this is not a return to normality, or a route out of lockdown. Lockdown exists until the tier system is abolished. It was bloody useless anyway.
 

Scotrail314209

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Oh dear, I'm not pleased.

I'm glad that more shops will be opening back up, but I've noticed she's given very minimal detail on pubs, clubs and restaurants.

She gave no firm estimate as to when they can reopen or be fully back to normal, whereas England have.
 

kez19

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Hugely disappointing. This isn't a route map out of lockdown, its a map back to the tier system. Given that you can't travel in and out of level 3, it means that legally we can't leave out council area until May at the earliest...


Its for us remember, we have to stay in the council area but your councillors and MPs will be able too, without any hassle! - may as well buy a helicopter!
 

RomeoCharlie71

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She gave no firm estimate as to when they can reopen or be fully back to normal, whereas England have.
She did say “I want to give as much as possible today while avoiding giving false assurance or picking arbitrary dates that have no grounding at this stage in any objective assessment" which is quite clearly a dig at the UK government.
 

Scotrail314209

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Northern Ireland and England both now saying March 8th for all schools to return.

Meanwhile it's April 5th at the earliest in Scotland - which is in the middle of the Easter Holidays. It will therefore be April 19th for a full-time return to school, six weeks after two of the other devolved nations have done the same thing.

And the population is legally bound to their local authority indefinitely. Fantastic.

As @ld0595 said this is not a return to normality, or a route out of lockdown. Lockdown exists until the tier system is abolished. It was bloody useless anyway.

I'm not impressed with being bound to the exotic land of North Ayrshire. :L
 

scotrail158713

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Tier 4 until the end of April. Shambles.
So she is resuming communal worship on 5th April, which is the day after Easter Sunday, the most important day of the year in the Christian calendar.

You would have thought she could amend that to April 1st, which is Maundy Thursday. As relatively few people go to church these days, I can't see this having much of an impact.
She did say it may be tweaked because Easter does occur around then. It’s something that I really hope occurs though because as you say it’s really not a risky activity, and the benefits of being there are massive.
 

kez19

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Police are going to be pretty busy on the A1 / M74 from mid April then


Are we sure about that? Last time I read it seemed people were able to bypass them anyway or at a guess the police probably didn't give a toss?

She did say “I want to give as much as possible today while avoiding giving false assurance or picking arbitrary dates that have no grounding at this stage in any objective assessment" which is quite clearly a dig at the UK government.

Or possibly she can't give dates as she is trying to work out what day is Monday or Friday.

Oh dear, I'm not pleased.

I'm glad that more shops will be opening back up, but I've noticed she's given very minimal detail on pubs, clubs and restaurants.

She gave no firm estimate as to when they can reopen or be fully back to normal, whereas England have.

I'm still planning on my trip down south in June at least there is a bit of glimmer of hope from England to Scotland.
 

RomeoCharlie71

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The full 94 page document is available to read here.

In being open and transparent about the challenges ahead I can say with a reasonable degree of certainty that some protective measures, such as physical distancing and face coverings, are likely to be necessary for some months yet, including for those who have been vaccinated.
We are also considering, ahead of returning to the Levels system, the appropriate geographical approach. For example, it was clear that whilst in some cases Local Authority boundaries were effective, travel to work areas, spill-over between neighbouring areas at different levels, population density and rurality had an impact on the effectiveness of the system at suppressing the virus. We will set out our conclusions and details when we publish our updated Levels table in March
In due course, once we have vaccinated as many of the population as possible, we hope that the virus will be suppressed to sufficiently low levels to allow much more normality in people’s lives. To preserve this, we will reduce the risk of spread into Scotland through necessary but proportionate border measures. For a period, this will mean that we will have to forgo some of the benefits of cross-border travel for all but essential purposes in return for the benefits of having fewer restrictions on our lives within Scotland.
 

kez19

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The full 94 page document is available to read here.


In due course, once we have vaccinated as many of the population as possible, we hope that the virus will be suppressed to sufficiently low levels to allow much more normality in people’s lives. To preserve this, we will reduce the risk of spread into Scotland through necessary but proportionate border measures. For a period, this will mean that we will have to forgo some of the benefits of cross-border travel for all but essential purposes in return for the benefits of having fewer restrictions on our lives within Scotland.

Last part she can take a hike!, so its OK for politicians to enjoy cross border travel but not the travelling public, sorry nah!
 

duncanp

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Oh dear, I'm not pleased.

I'm glad that more shops will be opening back up, but I've noticed she's given very minimal detail on pubs, clubs and restaurants.

She gave no firm estimate as to when they can reopen or be fully back to normal, whereas England have.

England's lockdown easing is roughly equivalent to level 2 from April 12th, level 1 from May 17th and Level 0 (all restrictions removed) from June 21st.

And yet Scotland isn't going to go to level 3 until two weeks after England has gone to level 2, and there is not even an indicative date as to when the lower levels might be achieved.

I can't help thinking that she is going to wait and see what happens in England first, but unless she accelerates the timetable for easing lockdown, then Scotland will be between a fortnight and a month behind England in easing restrictions.

For a period, this will mean that we will have to forgo some of the benefits of cross-border travel for all but essential purposes in return for the benefits of having fewer restrictions on our lives within Scotland.

And how is she going to enforce the restriction on non essential travel across the border when pubs in England re-open, especially after 17th May when they open indoors?
 
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