Scotland has reported no new deaths as a result of Covid-19 for the second day in a row. First minister, Nicola Sturgeon is “optimistic” that coronavirus restrictions in Scotland can be further eased on 18 June in recognition of this.
In a statement released yesterday, Sturgeon announced that the "steady decline" in Scotland’s death toll was "obviously very encouraging". However, she noted that it was "highly likely" more deaths would be reported in the coming weeks. As such, Sturgeon confirmed that those most at risk from the virus would be advised to shield until the end of July.
Changes to restrictions, which are yet to be announced, may include allowing people who are shielding to exercise outdoors, however, they must continue to shield due to the "very significant threat" of the virus.
Following the news of no new deaths in Scotland for a second day running, Sturgeon said that: "I can't tell you how much I've longed to report such a development."
The formal review of restrictions in Scotland will take place on 18 June. While this so-called second phase was planned to allow members of the public to visit households indoors while maintaining physical distancing, re-opening shops and businesses, and resuming professional sport.
While the first minister noted that not all elements of the second phase would be included, those at Holyrood are hoping to "accelerate things from later phases" wherever possible.
According to the first minister, members of the Scottish government, "want to get the economy back to as much normality as possible", however, "we have to do it safely so we don't set everybody back again by allowing the virus to run out of control".
She concluded: "These painful but necessary sacrifices have brought us to where we are today, with this virus in retreat. It is in retreat, but it is not gone.
"This is such a critical junction in our battle against this virus. We will either keep beating it back, or give it a chance to roar back with a vengeance."