Scotland has reported 1857 of the UK’s overall deaths. The country has 13,486 confirmed cases of coronavirus, an increase of 181 in the past 24 hours.
The First Minister said cases were higher in the UK’s north, compared to the rest of the country and warned that people would die “unnecessarily” if the Stay at Home message was dropped now.
However when asked to provide the reinfection rate, which has been supplied in the past by the UK’s medical and scientific advisers, Sturgeon refused, saying the number did not exist in a “solid … evidence-based way.”
“For Scotland right now… it would be catastrophic for me to drop the Stay at Home message which is why I am not prepared to do it,” she said.
“And I’m particularly not prepared to do it in favour of a message that is vague and imprecise.
“I don’t what ‘Stay Alert’ means … if you say to me ‘does that mean I stay at home or not?’ I can’t give you a straight answer on that.”
However, Sturgeon said that Scots will be allowed to leave their homes for unlimited exercise from Monday, a move widely expected to be announced by Johnson.
She said that this was not a licence to start meeting up in groups at parks or beaches. Sturgeon sits on COBR – the group of politicians and advisers devising the national response to the pandemic; COBR met a short time ago.
She hinted that the Prime Minister would announce a 14-day quarantine for overseas arrivals and called for it to be implemented as soon as possible.
She also cast doubt on the idea of Scotland’s students returning to the classroom on June 1, hinting that that could be the date when England’s schools will resume teaching.
And she said that Scotland would consider opening gardening shops and allowing some forms of outdoor work – two measures Johnson is widely expected to announce later.