Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon claimed that as her Government was not consulted on the latest coronavirus measures, she decided to stick to the Stay at Home message and depart from Boris Johnson’s new agenda for the UK. But Speaking to BBC Breakfast on Monday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab rejected the SNP leader’s claim and said: “She was consulted. We had consultation through Michael Gove and the Cabinet Office.
“We had Cobra meetings all along and of course we’ll continue that close collaboration.
“But we also respect that if the Scottish Government wants to proceed in a slightly different way or at a different speed.
“That’s their prerogative.
“But we’re confident, based on the UK wide road map we’re setting out, that we’re doing the right thing at the right time both in terms of the overriding priority of protecting public health but also getting people’s livelihoods and their way of life back to something resembling normal.”
Dominic Raab rejected Nicola Sturgeon’s claim she was not consulted on coronavirus measures
Nicola Sturgeon refused to apply same coronavirus rules as England’s for Scotland
Speaking on ITV Good Morning Britain on Monday, Nicola Sturgeon said she had a conversation with the Prime Minister last week, adding: “I made very clear to him my view that we should stick with the ‘Stay at Home’ message.”
She added: “The Prime Minister is entitled to decide what message is appropriate for England. I am not here to criticise Boris Johnson.
“We’ve all got difficult decisions to make, we’re all trying to make them to the best of our ability.
“I think it’s an important point to stress – it’s not a political point, it’s actually a point of law, the lockdown restrictions are in place separately in all four of the UK nations, so the Prime Minister in England, myself in Scotland, the First Ministers of Wales and Northern Ireland, all have to look at the data in our own countries and come to decisions.”
Boris Johnson unveiled a “conditional plan” on Sunday evening for easing restrictions in England, saying people could take unlimited exercise outdoors, travel to other places by car and should start going back to work if they cannot work from home.
Primary schools could begin to reopen on June 1 starting with reception and years 1 and 6, he said, while parts of the hospitality sector such as pavement cafes and cafes in parks could open in July.
But Scotland and Wales have rejected Number 10’s new “stay alert” slogan, while unions and the Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer criticised the plan for creating confusion.
On Monday, Mr Raab appeared to add to the uncertainty by saying people should only go to work from Wednesday. He also said it was fine to meet two people from another household as long as the households kept two metres apart.
Government officials said on Sunday evening people should go back to work from Monday. They also said the new rules meant you could meet only one other person from another household outdoors.
Speaking to the BBC on Monday, Mr Raab said people could now, for example, meet different family members separately on the same day while maintaining social distancing.
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He said: “If you’re out in the park and you’re two metres apart, we’re saying now, (if you) use some common sense and you socially distance, you can meet up with other people.”
Asked if someone could meet their mother in the morning and their father in the afternoon, he said: “Outside in the outdoors, staying two metres apart, yes.”
When asked later if someone could meet up with both their parents in a park, Mr Raab said: “Well, you could if there’s two metres apart.”
However, Mr Raab said people should not play group sports such as football with other households.
“Two people from the same home could go and play tennis, because that’s something where they could stay two metres apart from everyone else,” he said.
“What you couldn’t then do, and this is why we say you’ve got to stay alert, you couldn’t then go into the clubhouse and mill around where you will be within two metres of other people.
“So, football would be one of those where I think would be very difficult to stay two metres apart if you’re playing, you know, 11-a-side or even five-a-side.”