No Covid-19 deaths for third day as barbers re-open in Scotland lockdown easing

Lucinda Cameron and Daniel Harkins, PA Scotland
·3-min read

No deaths of recent coronavirus patients were recorded in Scotland for the third day running as hairdressers were among places reopening in the latest lockdown easing.

One barber near Glasgow opened at 6am to welcome back customers, with 96 people booked in for a trim on Monday.

Politicians were among those getting a long-awaited haircut including Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar.

Anas Sarwar
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has his hair cut by barber Mark Stephen at Oceanic Hair Salon in Glasgow (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Some shops, including garden centres and homeware stores, were among other business able to reopen on Monday as lockdown measures eased.

Visitors to the West End Garden Centre in Glasgow said they had marked the date in their diaries, with one gardener saying she had her visit lined up “the moment it was allowed”.

As part of the lockdown easing, university and college students can return for in-person teaching, and outdoor contact sports for 12 to 17-year-olds can restart.

Click-and-collect services have also resumed.

The changes came as the latest Scottish Government data indicated no deaths of people who had first tested positive for coronavirus in the previous 28 days were recorded for the third day in a row.

Deaths recorded at the weekend are often lower as most registry offices are closed.

Scotland recorded 248 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, according to the latest figures published on Monday, with the daily test positivity rate at 2.5%, down from 2.7% on Sunday.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

Monday’s lockdown changes will be followed on April 26 with a wider reopening of the economy, with beer gardens and gyms returning to trading and more people being able to meet outdoors and inside public places.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon previously said she hopes the country will return to normality by the summer.

Monday’s opening has been welcomed by retail groups but hospitality businesses have been more sceptical.

The Scottish Beer & Pub Association said pubs will have missed out on selling eight million pints at Easter due to the fact they remain closed.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman ruled out easing restrictions more quickly than outlined in the current timetable of three weeks between changes.

Questioned on BBC Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme if this would be accelerated, she said: “No, I don’t think so.

“I don’t think the numbers suggest that and of course you’ve got to remember that every time you ease in some way the current restrictions – so today – you give the virus more opportunity to not only to transmit but also to mutate.”

She said easing restrictions gives “the opportunity for more cases” so the three-week window is required to monitor case numbers.

Ms Freeman added: “What we’ve done and what opens up today I’m sure is very welcomed by very many people indeed but our progress needs to be tempered with a degree of caution and that’s of course exactly the approach that we’re taking here.”