First Minister Nicola Sturgeon unveiled Scotland’s lockdown exit strategy last week, and made a swipe at the UK Government for not publishing its aims for easing coronavirus restrictions. The SNP leader said the public should be “treated like grown-ups” and have some indication on the country’s path out of lockdown.
In contrast, the UK Government has said it will publish its plans at a later date – and a recent poll suggests most Britons back the policy.
Ministers have repeatedly defended the Government’s approach in holding back the measures for ending the lockdown, as they focus on getting the public to stay at home, save lives and protect the NHS.
An exit strategy is set to be released once the UK’s top scientists are satisfied the country has past the peak of the virus.
A recent survey, carried out by YouGov on April 27, suggests most Britons support the approach.
The poll asked if the Government should set out a plan on how Britain should leave lockdown.
Nicola Sturgeon unveiled Scotland’s lockdown exit strategy last week
Most Britons back Boris’s approach of not announcing the lockdown exit strategy yet
Out of 6,257 British adults surveyed, the majority said the Government should wait before outlining how it plans to relax the current measures.
Just under two thirds, 63 percent, said the Government should only set out plans to leave lockdown nearer the time, when the situation is clearer.
Only 32 percent said ministers should set out a plan now, while five percent responded “don’t know”.
The findings are in stark contrast to the comments from SNP officials – who have heavily criticised the Government for not publishing advice on easing lockdown restrictions.
Dominic Raab said the lockdown wouldn’t be eased until five targets had been met
Ms Sturgeon has published a document setting out Scotland’s path out of the current social distancing restrictions, which include guidance on reopening schools and allowing social gatherings.
But the Scottish politician made a subtle dig at the UK Government when announcing the measures, as she explained the reason for publishing the document was because she wanted to have a “grown up conversation” with the public about lifting the restrictions.
Speaking at a briefing in Edinburgh, Ms Sturgeon said: “What we are publishing at this stage is by necessity a first cut.
“I’m seeking today really to start a grown-up conversation with you, the public.”
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Nicola Sturgeon has suggested the Government needed to release its lockdown exit plan
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The Welsh government has also set out its plans for how and when the coronavirus lockdown might be relaxed.
The UK Government has so far refused to publish advice on easing the lockdown and instead points to its five tests, as outlined by Dominic Raab.
He said the five-point action plan must be met before lifting the country’s lockdown measures.
These are: that the NHS is able to cope, there is a sustained and consistent fall in deaths, infections decrease in manageable levels, testing and the amount of PPE is in hand and that any changes won’t risk a second peak of infections.
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The First Secretary of State had been deputising for Mr Johnson while the Prime Minister recovered from his own battle with COVID-19.
However, despite his absence from No10, Mr Raab said he was carrying out the strategy that had been laid out by his boss.
Conservative MP Laura Trott, who is a member of the Commons’ health and social care select committee, told the BBC it was “not possible” for a “really conclusive plan to be drawn up unless you’ve reached the peak of the epidemic”.
She said: “Until we’ve reach the peak, until we understand the impact the measures we are currently taking – how that’s affecting hospital admissions, the number of deaths and how the NHS is coping with those – we can’t really formulate a proper plan for how we are going to then exit.”