Nicola Sturgeon to lay out more lockdown details because 'we're treating the public like grown-ups'

Ellen Manning
·4-min read
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon takes part in a national "clap for carers" to show thanks for the work of Britain's National Health Service (NHS)workers and frontline medical staff around the country as they battle with the novel coronavirus pandemic, outside St Andrew's House in Edinburgh on April 16, 2020. - Britain on Thursday extended its lockdown to tackle the coronavirus for "at least the next three weeks", as it remains among the countries worst-hit by the pandemic with hundreds dying daily from the disease. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JEFF J MITCHELL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Nicola Sturgeon has said she will set out the decision-making process around the coronavirus lockdown because she is 'treating people like the grown-ups they are'. (Picture: JEFF J MITCHELL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Nicola Sturgeon plans to set out more details on the details behind Scotland’s coronavirus lockdown decisions next week, because she is “treating the public like grown-ups”.

Scotland’s First Minister said she wouldn’t be giving any specific dates on when lockdown would be lifted, but would set out how decisions are made in a bid to be “open about the process”.

Her approach comes as the UK government has refused to be drawn on an exit strategy timetable, insisting that the message must continue to focus on social isolation.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Friday — the morning after lockdown was extended in the UK by three weeks — Sturgeon said she plans to set out the process behind her own decision-making when it comes to lockdown conditions in Scotland.

She said: “I’m not going to set out next week the dates on which lockdown will be lifted.

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“What I’m going to try to do is set out the decision-making framework that we’re operating within so that we’re treating the public like grown-ups that they are and trying to make this a public discussion.”

She added: “The fact is that we have to look at what we need to see in terms of the spread of the virus before we can even think about lifting any of these measures, what the different options might be, what the impact that that might have and then what we need to do instead to make sure that we’re continuing to suppress the virus.

“It’s about setting out the factors and the process that we will undertake.”

Her comments come after Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has suggested that the government is reluctant to announce an exit strategy timetable while Boris Johnson recovers from the virus.

In comments to the BBC’s Coronavirus Newscast podcast and the Today programme, Sir Keir said he thinks Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is reluctant to “sign off” a plan without the Prime Minister.

He told the podcast: “I suspect, although I don’t know, that Dominic Raab is just reluctant – he probably does know that it’s time for an exit strategy – but he’s probably reluctant to sign it off without the Prime Minister and I think there’s a bit of that in the mix.”

Newly-elected Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer arrives at BBC Broadcasting House in London to appear on the Andrew Marr show. (Photo by Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he thinks the government is reluctant to make a decision on a lockdown exit strategy while Boris Johnson can't sign it off. (Picture: Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)

Asked on Friday morning how her approach differs from the UK government’s, Sturgeon said: “I’m not sure I’m seeing it that different to the UK government.”

She said: “I do think as First Minister in these difficult times I’ve got a duty to try to be as open with people as I can be about what I do know, what I don’t know, but what we’re trying to do to find the answers to the questions that we don’t yet have.

“It’s about being open about the process, but I’m not going to be able next week to set out all of the answers or the timescales or the milestones but I think as much of this needs to be discussed in an open way with the public.”

Sturgeon added: This is not political for me right now. I’m trying my best as First Minister of Scotland to deal with a pandemic and reduce the number of people who are dying. I’m a politician but I’ve never been less interested in just reducing something to party politics.”

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