UK Covid live: easing lockdown will ‘inevitably’ mean more deaths, says PM

8.23am EDT08:23

8.11am EDT08:11

8.05am EDT08:05

at 8.13am EDT

7.51am EDT07:51

at 8.13am EDT

7.38am EDT07:38

Scotland’s socialising rules relaxed earlier to help mental health

Nicola Sturgeon has brought forward relaxations to travel and outdoors meetings, saying Covid is “in retreat” in Scotland.

Announcing the changes which she said had been made with boosting mental health and wellbeing in mind, she said that from this Friday:

  • People will be all able to travel anywhere within Scotland for the purposes of outdoor socialising and exercise.
  • Up to six adults from up to six households can meet outdoors.
  • Island communities will align with the rest of the country so that travel to and from the islands can operate more normally.

She confirmed that, in a fortnight’s time from 26 April, there will be a significant relaxation, with shops fully reopening, pubs, cafes and restaurants opening fully outdoors with limited hospitality opening indoors, which she pointed out would be three weeks before England.

As of 26 April, travel restrictions to and from England and Wales will also be lifted – although Sturgeon added that it may be possible in future to re-introduce temporary travel restrictions.

Sturgeon also said people should be able to meet indoors again from the middle of May, albeit in limited numbers, and that she hoped to see a return to even greater normality, including hugging family and friends, by the summer.

Asked whether she had the Holyrood elections in mind as she made the announcements, she said: “It’s not a consideration at all.”

at 8.20am EDT

7.27am EDT07:27

Covid figures at lowest since September, says Sturgeon

at 7.29am EDT

7.22am EDT07:22

at 7.37am EDT

7.19am EDT07:19

6.52am EDT06:52

6.36am EDT06:36

Easing lockdown will ‘inevitably’ mean more deaths, says PM

at 7.23am EDT

6.24am EDT06:24

6.15am EDT06:15

Whilst it is true to say that all high-risk groups have technically been offered a vaccine, there are concerns not everyone has been offered a jab they can actually access.

Last month, the Guardian reported that a number of high-risk people had still not had their first vaccine.

Housebound people were meant to be visited by a mobile vaccination team, similar to the service offered to care home residents.

However, the Guardian understands that months on, a number of older and disabled people who are too unwell to leave their homes are still waiting, with some told to travel miles to a vaccine centre instead.

at 6.39am EDT

5.57am EDT05:57

at 6.16am EDT

5.48am EDT05:48

5.34am EDT05:34