During her COVID-19 media briefing today, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon covered the follow (29/06/21):
- The FM confirmed that 3,118 new cases of COVID-19 had been found, 215 people were in hospital with the virus, and there had been one additional death reported. She further confirmed that 3,781,887 people had received a first dose of the vaccine and 2,701,195 people had received a second dose.
- The FM stressed that an increase in cases can be traced to last Tuesday and that cases appeared to be slowing. She also noted that there was reason to believe that the vaccination programme was working.
- The FM confirmed that the ban on travel to Manchester, Salford, and Bolton were to be lifted. However, she also confirmed that travel to Blackburn and Darwin were to remain in place.
- Commenting on the “race” between the virus and the vaccine, the FM said that she was confident that it was still being won but that the Delta variant was moving faster than previous variants, which she noted was a cause for concern. The FM also spoke optimistically about rates of discharge and the fact that new cases were not prevalent among at risk age groups.
- Pending the data, the FM said that the plan for lifting restrictions remained unchanged but urged Scots to be careful and called for “renewed care and vigilance”.
- In closing her remarks, the FM called on Scots to stick by the rules and restrictions in place, test regularly, and come forward for vaccination.
- During the following questions, Global Radio asked for the FM’s thoughts on “living with COVID” rather than eradicating it. The FM said that the dates that she put in place were connected with vaccinations rather than eradicating the virus. However, she did note that she thought the term was “a bit glib”. The Express asked what factors had been used in deciding policy on travel restrictions, specifically in terms of the recently lifted Manchester travel ban. The FM outlined that the gap in cases between the two areas and a range of other factors, including vaccination rates, had been considered. The Mail asked if the FM expected people who have received both vaccine doses to have greater freedom to travel over the summer. The FM noted that the vaccine roll-out was proceeding as planned and that she would take a considered view in the future.