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Families of Covid-19 victims deserve answers to Scotland's lockdown easing, Labour says

NICOLA STURGEON was pressed for answers on coronavirus deaths in care homes today after the First Minister announced further easing of lockdown restrictions in Scotland. 

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said that the families of those who have lost their lives deserve answers about the government’s approach to care homes during the Covid-19 crisis. 

Mr Leonard highlighted the serious concerns of the Scottish Human Rights Commission, in particular with regard to guidance in place until May 15 not to admit care-home residents to hospital if they were suspected of carrying coronavirus.

He said that Scotland’s “most vulnerable people were badly let down,” with more than half of coronavirus deaths north of the border coming from the very small care-home community. 

Ms Sturgeon stressed that she disagrees with any suggestion that the Scottish government failed to act to protect people in care homes but agreed that rights concerns needed to be addressed. 

The criticism came as Ms Sturgeon announced that pubs, hairdressers and cinemas will be able to open from July 15 if the outbreak continues to decline. 

The SNP leader revealed dates for the easing of lockdown restrictions, including plans for different households to be able to meet indoors next month.

Ms Sturgeon said that, from July 3, five-mile travel distance restrictions would be relaxed and self-catering accommodation able to open.

But trade union leaders warned the Scottish government that negotiated guidance should precede “cascaded” announcements on easing lockdown. 

STUC general secretary designate Rozanne Foyer said: “What we don’t need is a panicked response to economic downturn which would endanger public health, risk a sharp second spike in infections and cause far more long-term economic damage.”
 

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