Strict Covid curbs ‘less effective’, admits Nicola Sturgeon as Scotland’s isolation rules relaxed

Strict limits on attendance at large events in Scotland, including football matches, were imposed on Boxing Day. Theatres across the country have also had to close their doors.

However, Ms Sturgeon told MSPs that the virus was “more widespread now than at any point in the pandemic so far”, which she argued had “extremely serious implications” for the NHS and other key services.

In a virtual statement to a recalled Scottish Parliament, she said that her continuing to use lockdown-style restrictions “won’t control transmission to the same extent as they would have with other variants.”

Ms Sturgeon said this did not mean “giving up on trying to control it at all”, but added: “The Scottish Government is currently working on and will publish within the next few weeks a revised strategic framework, which will set out more fully how that process of adaptation can be managed.”

Asked before Christmas about cutting the 10-day quarantine period, Ms Sturgeon sarcastically said: “Yeah, that would help, because that would be spreading the infection even further, and that would be not doing any favours to businesses.”

Douglas Ross, the Scottish Tory leader, welcomed her “U-turn” on her “unsustainable” rules but questioned why she had taken “so long to make this change”.

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