People could meet small 'bubbles' of friends during lockdown, Nicola Sturgeon says

PEOPLE could meet up in small “bubbles” of friends during the lockdown, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The First Minister of Scotland today suggested the public could decide one key group of pals who they were allowed to see.

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Ms Sturgeon told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland that Britain could follow the countries currently looking at expanding “households” to allow small gatherings of people.

She said: “Some countries are starting to look at slightly expanding what people would define as their household – encouraging people who live alone to maybe match up with somebody else who is on their own or a couple of other people to have almost kind of bubbles of people.

“And the key thing there is, if you’re seeing maybe one or two more people outside your household, it’s got to be the same people on a day-to-day, week-to-week basis so you’re still limiting the ability for the virus to transmit.

“Now, none of these are fixed decisions yet, but these are all the kind of things we’re trying to work through.”

Currently the UK rules state that people should not meet up with anyone they do not live with.

It comes one day after the Scottish leader urged the UK Government to "treat people like grown ups" as she shared her draft plans for ending Scotland's lockdown.

The Scottish First Minister yesterday insisted that politicians should be frank with the public – after Government scientists said last night that social distancing could continue until 2021.

Her proposed plan for relaxing the lockdown included:

  • Plans for "certain businesses in certain sectors" to reopen – "but only if they can change how they work" so people stay apart
  • "Classrooms may have to be redesigned" to keep their distance, or to stagger kids so they go in at different times
  • Pubs and large gatherings are to be banned for "some time to come"
  • Restrictions in cities and densely populated areas where the virus is spreading could have different rules to those of towns and villages
  • Restrictions could be lifted but they can also be tightened in some areas
  • Lockdown measures could be lifted but if the spread starts again, the country could have to stay inside once again
  • More surveillance is needed for people flying into the country who could be infected with the virus

Ms Sturgeon stressed the strict measures were still "absolutely necessary, but said Scotland needs "to chart a way forward" to live with the virus over the coming months.

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