Four-nation approach needed to exit lockdown

Rachael Hamilton MSP has urged the Scottish Government, UK Government and other devolved administrations to work together to plan the easing of lockdown.


It comes after Scotland published a "framework" on easing restrictions, suggesting that social distancing and shielding the vulnerable will remain in place for the near future.


The Borders MSP believes that the First Minister’s comments at the weekend on potentially closing the border were ‘preposterous’ and caused unnecessary concern amongst many across the Borders, who travel to Berwick and beyond to carry out essential work.


There is a worry amongst many that differentiated messages, rules and restrictions on easing lockdown in different parts of the UK, could lead to people pushing the boundaries in areas, which would still have strict lockdown rules in place.


Mrs Hamilton believes rural areas, such as the Highlands and Islands, risk experiencing a sharp rise in cases should the restrictions be lifted too soon.


She has called for all four nations to work constructively to ensure the UK leaves strict lockdown on a phased approach, so that not part of the country is left unfairly disadvantaged.


Rachael Hamilton MSP said:


“I want to thank everyone for staying at home and complying with the lockdown restrictions. By staying at home, you are saving lives and easing the pressure on our hardworking NHS staff, to whom we owe a massive debt of gratitude.


“We need all four nations to come together to ensure we can leave lockdown on the basis that the NHS can continue to cope, there are a falling number of cases and it is safe for people to return to work.


“It worries many that an overly differentiated approach in our four nations will not benefit the UK, as it could lead to confusion and mixed messages.


“We need all the devolved administrations to ensure a coherent plan is drawn up, with input from all areas.


“We have come so far and we cannot let the good work we have built up to date go to waste. Please continue to stay at home”.