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Sturgeon’s Covid self-isolation rules holding Scotland back ‘We’re now the outlier of UK’

Covid: Scotland an 'outlier' with continued restrictions says Fraser

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is set to make an announcement of the legal Covid restrictions in Scotland in Parliament on Tuesday. MSP Murdo Fraser hit out at the SNP leader, suggesting she was holding Scotland back with her apparent refusal to ease restrictions across the nation. Prime Minister Boris Johnson already announced the relaxation of self-isolation Covid rules for Brits, which will kick in by the end of the week.

Wales has also eased restrictions, Mr Fraser expressed a hopeful sentiment that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will follow the same direction and announce the scrapping of certain rules.

BBC The Nine host Laura Maciver said: “There were some disagreements among the UK Cabinet today, ahead of this announcement but they’ve signed it off and it’s been done.

“Is this the right thing, would you say at the right time for England?”

Mr Fraser said: “Yes I think it probably is, I think we’re seeing that we’re winning the battle against Covid, it’s not over yet.

“But the success has been remarkable, success of the vaccination programme is providing a level of protection to the great majority of our citizens.

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The Scottish Conservatives MSP added: “I think its quite right to start relaxing restrictions, and imparticular…”

Ms Maciver said: “What do you think about here in Scotland? What do you think should happen?

“The ending of the legal requirement to self-isolate in England has been controversial. Let’s take it step by step, what do you make of that move?”

Mr Fraser said: “Well I think it’s rather strange that it’s controversial, of course, there has never been in Scotland a legal requirement to self-isolate apart from international travellers.

Covid: Scotland an 'outlier' with continued restrictions says Fraser

Mr Fraser added: “In Scotland, we relied on public health advice being followed by people.

“So I find it strange that people regard this as a major change in England, it’s just bringing England into line with the situation in Scotland that’s worked very happily for the last two years.

“Because we know we can trust people to follow the public health advice.

“Now on the broader picture, what we’ve seen over the past two weeks is first of all Wales removing nearly all restrictions, Northern Ireland last week removed all legal restrictions.

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He added: “And in England today, the Prime Minister of the UK signalled the same from the end of the week.

“So Scotland is now the outlier of all parts of the United Kingdom, maintaining the level of restrictions we have and I think it would be very strange and very difficult to understand if tomorrow Nicola Sturgeon didn’t announce a major relaxation to restrictions.”

As the rolling back of pandemic rules and regulations eases across the UK, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been expected to announce the same.

Mr Sturgeon said: “There will be a lot of optimism around what I set out, but I’ve got to be frank with people – we are still in a pandemic of this virus, we know from past experience that new variants can come about and cause new challenges.

“We need to be vigilant and prepared for that, but we also need to manage that risk in a much less restrictive and more sustainable way for the future so we can get back to normal – and retain that sense of normality even as we maintain that sense of vigilance.”

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