‘I’ve got butterflies’ Sturgeon admits ‘nervousness’ as Scotland Covid restrictions lift

Sturgeon admits 'nervousness' as Scotland restrictions ease

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Nicola Sturgeon was asked by Good Morning Britain’s Ben Shepherd whether she was nervous about the lifting of Scotland’s coronavirus restrictions despite a rise in cases over the weekend and the close proximity to schools reopening. Pupils are set to return to schools around August 19 after the summer holidays leaving only two weeks between that and the lifting of restrictions. However, Ms Sturgeon admitted there was a nervousness in the air, adding she has “butterflies” hoping the decision was the right one.

Appearing on Good Morning Britain, Ms Sturgeon discussed the level 0 lifting and to answer questions about the pandemic.

However, confusingly, level 0 did not mean there were zero restrictions put in place nor does the lifting of it mean all restrictions have now ended. 

Some mandatory mask-wearing is still in place in schools and public transport and will be reviewed in the upcoming few weeks. 

Mr Shephard asked Ms Sturgeon for her thoughts on the decision and said: “Is there a slight nervousness, Nicola Sturgeon, about the fact that the case is week on week sort of seem to rise a little bit over the weekend.

“And also the closeness of lifting restrictions to when the children are going back to school north of the border, which of course they do sooner than ours down here in England.

“There is sort of concern from some parents saying are we doing this too soon when the kids are about to go back to school and that could be mixing together and those figures could go up again.”

Ms Sturgeon replied: “So yes, I think there’s always going to be nervousness when we lift restrictions after such a long period.

“Yeah, I have to be honest, there’s some butterflies in my stomach about it but I think it’s the right moment to do this.

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“We see daily fluctuations in our case numbers but the trend is downwards and of course the vaccine is giving significant protection.

“So this is the right moment to remove legal restrictions to try to get that greater normality back in our lives.”

The restrictions ended overnight on August 9, nearly an entire month after England lifted their legal lockdown requirements. 

But some rules and guidance have remained in place such as working from home, mask-wearing, and social distancing in healthcare settings.

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Some critics are also concerned the return of pupils to schools could see an increase in cases as children mingle and become vectors for the virus. 

Scottish Health Secretary Humza Yousaf told BBC Scotland: “Today is a really important day. People have been living with the harshest restrictions in their personal lives that any of us will ever remember, and they have been doing so on and off for 17-18 months.

“It has been really challenging for people, so I would enjoy this day but also please remember that the virus is still with us.

Scotland reported 1,240 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, 146 fewer than the 1,386 reported 24 hours earlier.

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