Nicola Sturgeon is 'determined to do what's right' as she discusses Scotland's lockdown exit plan
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon discussed her four phase route map out of lockdown on Good Morning Britain today.
When questioned if she feels under pressure to fall in line with England’s exit plan, she said: “We, over the last few weeks, have felt it was too early to release these measures, the so called R number, the transmission rate of the virus we think is still a bit higher in Scotland because we had our first cases a little bit later, so we’re a bit behind that curve. I’m determined to do what’s right for Scotland. That’s my job and my responsibility.
"All countries are going to be looking at the same things because we’re all trying to unlock exactly the same thing. If you look at route maps from other countries, not just the UK but Ireland and countries across Europe, there’s a great similarity between them but what’s important is we do it at the right time and in the right sequence and that’s what I’m trying to do."
“I’ve tried throughout this whole crisis not to get party political because these issues are too important. It’s really important that the opposition parties ask tough questions and bring real scrutiny, but I’m not sure many people have patience for silly political party games being played just now. When you have people doing that, I kind of think it reveals more about them than it does about me or the Scottish government, so I’ll keep focused on the job at hand," she added.
Lorraine asked Ms Sturgeon about how she deals with the accusations she’s been "using" the crisis to further Scottish independence and the accusations she’s been "enjoying" the situation, she replied: “I try to tune it out. I can say hand on heart I’ve never enjoyed anything less in my whole life. This is grim. It’s grim for everybody, having to deal with the lockdown. It’s particularly grim for the far too many people who have lost loved ones. For anybody in a position of leadership, regardless of the politics, regardless of the views on things, this is not easy. You’re taking decisions that are really tough. There are no good options in front of us and so the idea that anybody relishes this in any way is just nonsense, I think most reasonable people understand that."
"And on politics and the constitution, I don’t think I’ve mentioned the word ‘independence’. I’m not interested in traditional politics or constitutional arguments over this, people can believe that or not. From day one all I care about is trying to do everything I can to get this virus under control and get the country back to normal," she added.
She said: "I’ve been candid all along, I have made mistakes, I will make mistakes, I don’t think any leader or government in the world will not have made mistakes, but we learn from them as we go. Every single step, we’re just trying to make the best decisions based on the knowledge and the information we have at the time and take these decisions for the very best of reasons."
Responding to Lorraine's question about whether people, such as the elderly, could have been protected more, Ms Sturgeon replied: "I don't think any politician, and frankly, any human being could look at the situation right now and not agonise over could we have done anything differently, could we have done things better. Everyday right now we’re trying to do everything we can and adapt our response as we learn more about this virus.”
Challenged on the use of face covering in Scotland, she said she wants people to cover their faces in certain circumstances, but it is not mandatory to wear them all the time.
“If you are in an enclosed space, with other people, where social distancing might be a bit more difficult, the examples we’ve given, if you’re in a shop buying food, if you’re in public transport then wear a face covering. If you can do it my strong advice is to do it [wearing a face cover] in the kind of circumstances I just talked about," she said.