• Scottish Government considering reintroduction of mask mandates and lockdowns in response to new COVID-19 strain.
• Deputy First Minister Shona Robison says Government will take advice from scientists.
• Variant named Pirola is believed to be better at bypassing immunity.
The Scottish Government is considering the reintroduction of mask mandates and lockdowns in response to the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant, dubbed Pirola. Shona Robison, the Deputy First Minister, refused to rule out the possibility of a return to mask mandates and lockdowns. The new variant is highly mutated and believed to be behind a spike in cases, with health experts saying it is on the rise.
Pirola is thought to have the ability to bypass immunity, whether from vaccinations or previous infections. In response to a question on BBC Scotland’s Sunday Show, Robison said the Scottish Government would “take advice” from scientists moving forward. She also emphasized the importance of hand washing and warned of the potential strain on hospital capacity.
Last year, Scotland was placed in a state of lockdown when the virus first started to spread. This was followed by a mandate to wear masks in certain settings, which the Scottish Government kept in place for a longer period of time than the rest of the U.K.
Overall, the Scottish Government is carefully monitoring the situation and considering additional measures in response to the new Covid-19 variant.
The Scottish Government is contemplating the reintroduction of mask mandates and lockdowns in response to the emergence of new COVID-19 variant, Pirola. The Scottish Daily Express has the story.
Humza Yousaf’s deputy has refused to rule out a return to mask mandates and lockdowns as a new strain of Covid spreads. Shona Robison said the Scottish Government would “take advice” from scientists moving forward.
The new variant, nicknamed Pirola, is highly mutated and is believed to be behind a spike in cases. While data is not available in terms of positive tests, Scotland still monitors sewage for evidence of the virus with health experts saying it is on the rise.
Pirola is understood to be better to bypassing immunity, either from vaccines or previous infections. The Deputy First Minister, who said the Chief Medical Officer has briefed the Scottish cabinet on the situation, was asked by Martin Geissler on BBC Scotland’s Sunday Show if she could “see a scenario” where the likes of face mask mandates, social distancing and lockdowns would return.
She responded: “We would take advice clearly and work very closely with U.K. partners around any change to the advice.” Ms. Robison added: “So the advice at the moment is, of course to make sure that you get vaccinated if you’re eligible, and of course to take those precautions… hand washing, obviously really, really important and you make a very important point about the impact on on hospital capacity, so people who become ill and then are required to be admitted to hospital, that puts additional pressure on the system.”
The country was infamously put into lockdown in March 2020 when Covid first started to spread widely in the U.K. Ministers at Westminster and Holyrood banned people from leaving their homes except under certain circumstances while they were told they could not visit loved ones.
Later that year, a mandate to wear masks in certain settings was introduced. The Scottish Government clung to the mask mandate for longer than the rest of the U.K. and faced criticism for trying to make emergency Covid measures permanent.
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