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Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaks at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on May 6. 
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaks at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on May 6.  Fraser Bremner/Scottish Daily Mail/PA/AP 

Scotland’s leader said lockdown measures there be extended another three weeks, until at least the end of May.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the reproduction rate of the virus in the country, known as the “R-rate,” is still “hovering around 1”. She said easing up now could be “very risky”.

What that means: reproduction rate of one means each person with coronavirus will infect an average of one other person. Sturgeon said Scotland may be behind other parts of the UK. 

For us to drop the clear, well understood stay-at-home message right now could be a potentially catastrophic mistake,” Sturgeon said.

She said the measures will be reviewed on a weekly basis and are currently due to end three weeks from now, on May 28.

Responding to British media reports that the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson may announce a change to lockdown measures on Sunday, Sturgeon said she would not agree to a change in messaging around staying at home. She added other suggested changes about encouraging people back to work “would not in my judgement be safe to make”.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that the decisions we take now are a matter of life and death,” she said.

During the daily Edinburgh briefing, Sturgeon said she may be prepared to agree with a change of guidance about exercising. British media have reported people across the UK may be allowed to exercise outside more than once daily from Monday.

The First Minister said it is her “preference” for all four UK governments to make changes at the same point but if Johnson decides to move at a faster pace she will respect his decision.

“I will not be pressured into lifting restrictions prematurely before I am certain we will not be risking a resurgence,” Sturgeon said.


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