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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says Scotland 'can't live like this forever' and says she appreciates people's desire for return to 'normality' but adds that she is encouraged by polling which shows continued wide backing for cautious approach

By Scott Maclennan

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Nicola Sturgeon Stay at home
Nicola Sturgeon Stay at home

FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon used her daily briefing to restate that she is doing her best to be “clear, rational and straight” with the Scottish public.

She referred to recent polling which suggests the government’s message about being cautious, and double checking the impact of current easing restrictions, were widely supported by the public.

But the First Minister started by recognising that no one is likely to enjoy the enforced separation of families noting she would give as much notice of change as possible saying “we can't live like this forever, so we need to get some normality”.

She said: “We also have to consider very carefully our social interactions. You know, a life where we go to work but stay locked down with no family interaction for the rest of the time is not one that many of us or any of us would enjoy

“So given that we are likely to have quite a while to come we will have very limited room for manoeuvre, and I want to stress that is the case, we will need to get these balances as right as possible.

“And in all of this, continuing to set out clearly why we're asking you to live your life in such a restrictive way is vital so that you understand that we are not asking you to do this for no reason and I will not ask you to do so for any longer than necessary.

“It never will be enough for me simply to tell you what I want you to do, I have to explain, I've got a duty to explain to you on an ongoing basis my reasons for that.

“Compliance with any matters we may need to keep in place will always be higher if I am clear, rational and straight with you about the difficult judgements that these are based on.

“The results of polling on attitudes that we have undertaken and you understand that we do this just to check that the messages that we are trying to convey are being understood and getting across.

“The polling I'm going to share with you suggests that really important bond of understanding between government and the public in Scotland right now is currently very strong and I want to do everything I can to keep it that way.

“The polling reveals that there is widespread endorsement ofthe approach that we are taking in Scotland, as for example 84 per cent of you agree with a slow and gradual at lifting of restrictions, 82 per cent of you agree that before further significant changes to lockdown restrictions believe the impact of those should be assessed.

“And 86 per cent of you continue to agree the decisions on where and how to lift restrictions must be based on saving lives and protecting the NHS.”

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