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Lockdown lift fears

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By Newsdesk
Lockdown lift fears

A CALL has been made for a ‘co-ordinated approach’ to lockdown exit.

South of Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has warned of the serious dangers which could arise out of mixed cross-border Covid-19 messaging coming from the UK and Scottish Governments.

At the weekend, some news outlets suggested that lockdown restrictions in England could be lifted in May. But First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has refuted claims that there would be any changes in Scotland in the foreseeable future.

And Mr Smyth has said both Governments need to ensure there is co-ordination, particularly for border communities. In normal times thousands of people in Dumfries and Galloway travel to Cumbria for work, education, health and leisure each day. And if shops, colleges and workplaces south of the border were to reopen before those in Scotland there is a chance those living in Dumfries and Galloway would end up breaking Scottish advice to stay at home.

Mr Smyth said: “When it comes to Covid-19, there is rightly criticism that the Scottish Government has followed the exact same strategy as the UK Government through this crisis, when that strategy hasn’t always been correct. But the solution is to make changes across the UK.

“When it comes to the lockdown strategy, if we have two separate timescales between Scotland and England, there is a real danger of confusion and any mixed messages would risk peoples’ lives. “From looking at other countries, we know that there is likely to be a stages approach to reopening following the Covid-19 peak and it will inevitably be confusing when it happens. However, the last thing we need is an added layer of confusion depending on which side of the border you live.”