Coronavirus in Scotland: 100 days of life under lockdown

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It is now 100 days since Covid-19 forced Scotland into an unprecedented lockdown.

Since then the virus has touched everything and changed everything.

BBC Scotland looks back on some of the key developments during a remarkable three months.

23 March

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the lockdown in an address to the nation from 10 Downing Street

In a historic broadcast Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the nation: “You must stay at home.”

Mr Johnson announced people will only be allowed to venture outdoors for very limited purposes.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the incredible measures were necessary to slow the spread of Covid-19, ease pressure on the NHS and save lives.

She added: “I am not going to sugar coat it in any way. Coronavirus is the biggest challenge of our lifetime.”

30 March

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The first minister announced the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow could be in operation as a temporary hospital within two weeks.

The £43m NHS Louisa Jordan, named after a hero Scots nurse, opened on 20 April but has yet to admit any patients.

Nicola Sturgeon also confirmed several cancer screening programmes – including breast, cervical and bowel – had been suspended, so staff could further concentrate on the battle against Covid-19.

1 April

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The Edinburgh Fringe was among the events cancelled for 2020

The Edinburgh Fringe and four other major cultural festivals in the city became the latest major events to be called off due to the virus.

The UN’s COP26 climate summit, which had been due to take place in Glasgow in November, was also postponed for a year.

Other casualties since the start of lockdown include the TRNSMT and Belladrum music festivals, the World Pipe Band Championships and the Edinburgh Marathon.

5 April

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The chief medical officer was photographed near her second home in Fife

A Scottish Sun investigation revealed Scotland’s chief medical officer had flouted her own regulations by visiting her second home on the Fife coast.

Dr Catherine Calderwood apologised during the daily press briefing but revealed she had also travelled from Edinburgh to Earlsferry the previous weekend.

As pressure mounted the chief medical officer was cautioned by Police Scotland and, after further talks with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, it became clear her position was untenable.

Dr Calderwood announced her resignation shortly before 22:00 and was replaced the following morning by her deputy, Dr Gregor Smith.

8 April

A more complete picture of the country’s Covid-19 deaths emerged for the first time.

Data from the National Records of Scotland said that 354 deaths had been linked to the virus by 5 April.

The weekly NRS report includes deaths outside of hospital and those where the coronavirus is a “suspected” cause.

It showed that the vast majority of deaths in Scotland so far have been among those aged over 65, with those aged over 75 accounting for 60% of the total.

23 April

The first minister announced the lifting of the lockdown is likely to be phased – with some measures remaining in place into next year “or beyond”.

Nicola Sturgeon said gatherings in pubs and at public events were likely to be banned or restricted for some time to come.

She was speaking as the Scottish government published a 27-page document, outlining the basis of a lockdown exit strategy.

29 April

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The latest National Records of Scotland figures revealed 52% of the weekly deaths took place in care homes, increasing the sector’s share of the overall figures to 39%.

Ms Sturgeon described the proportion of deaths in the sector as “deeply distressing” but said it was broadly in line with proportions being reported from many other countries.

Concerns had been raised about a lack of testing and protective equipment in care homes.

The 2,272 deaths recorded by 26 April include 11 health and care workers.

The human toll of Covid-19

More than 18,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Scotland since the first case was confirmed by the Scottish government on 1 March.

The virus has infected all ages, from premature baby Peyton Maguire to 98-year-old Daphne Shah.

It has also claimed more than 4,000 lives across the country.

BBC Scotland has told some of the stories of the people behind the statistics.

10 May

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The first minister said she first learned about the UK government’s new slogan in the Sunday papers and admitted: “I do not know what ‘Stay Alert’ means.”

Nicola Sturgeon stressed the “stay at home” message remained in place in Scotland after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his “conditional plan” to reopen society in a televised address to the nation.

Ms Sturgeon also confirmed the once-a-day exercise limit would be removed but said people must still stay close to home.

11 May

A BBC Disclosure investigation revealed the virus had been brought to Scotland a week before the first case was officially confirmed on 1 March.

An outbreak began in Edinburgh on 26 and 27 of February at a conference for the sportswear giant Nike, which was attended by more than 70 employees from all over the world.

At least 25 people linked to the event were confirmed to have been infected – eight of them resident in Scotland.

The programme also reported more than 2,000 coronavirus deaths could have been prevented if the country had locked down two weeks earlier.

13 May

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Deaths of key workers and care home residents linked to coronavirus in Scotland are to be reported to prosecutors for investigation.

Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC said the Crown Office was setting up a dedicated unit to examine Covid-19 deaths and the process would help determine if Fatal Accident Inquiries were to be held.

Police Scotland later confirmed it would support the probe but said its involvement did not indicate that crimes had been committed and is designed simply to inform prosecutors.

Significant outbreaks in Scotland include Berelands Care Home, Prestwick; Elderslie Nursing Home, Paisley; Crosslet House, Dumbarton; Guthrie House Care Home, Edinburgh; Pitkerro Care Home, Dundee; and Home Farm, Skye.

18 May

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Celtic are confirmed as Scottish champions for the ninth season in a row and Hearts have been relegated after the SPFL ended the season.

The decision was taken at a board meeting after the 12 clubs agreed at the end of last week that completing the campaign was unfeasible.

Although matches in England’s Premier League have since resumed behind closed doors there will be no top flight action in Scotland until 1 August.

21 May

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The first minister unveiled a four-phase “route map” aimed at restarting society while suppressing the virus.

The situation will be reviewed every three weeks, with further phases of easing being introduced if enough progress is being made on keeping the virus under control.

But Ms Sturgeon said she hoped to be able to move more quickly than that if the evidence allows.

26 May

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The Scottish government confirms its new “test and protect” strategy will go live in 48 hours.

Ms Sturgeon said the scheme will mean anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 should take “immediate steps” to be tested and then self-isolate with their household until the results are known.

If the test is positive, people will need to provide the details of everyone they have had close contact with.

28 May

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People are now able to meet friends and family again as Scotland begins to ease its lockdown after 66 days.

The new rules mean that people from two households can meet outside so long as they keep at least two metres apart.

At her daily media briefing, the first minister called for “caution” as the new rules take effect and stressed people should still stay at home as much as possible.

3 June

More people have now died with coronavirus in Scotland’s care homes than in the country’s hospitals.

The National Records of Scotland said there have been a total of 1,818 deaths linked to the virus in care homes since the outbreak began – three more than have been recorded in hospitals.

The figures also showed the total number of people dying with the virus has fallen for a fifth week in a row.

10 June

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Scotland’s tourism businesses, including pubs, hotels and restaurants, should prepare to reopen on 15 July.

Tourism Secretary Fergus Ewing said the date was conditional on moving to the third phase of the route map for easing lockdown restrictions.

New guidance was later issued for businesses and customers.

23 June

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Scottish schools are aiming to reopen full-time with no physical distancing in August if coronavirus continues to be suppressed.

Schools had been preparing to return with a “blended” model of face-to-face teaching and at-home learning.

But Education Secretary John Swinney said “significant progress” had been made in controlling the spread of the virus.

Opposition parties said the move was a “U-turn” which had been forced by public pressure while unions warned other measures would need to be put in place to keep staff and pupils safe.

24 June

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Hairdressers are already back to work in countries like Germany

The first minister announces pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and barbers can re-open from 15 July.

Nicola Sturgeon also said the five-mile travel limit will be lifted from 3 July, while beer gardens can re-open from 6 July.

Meanwhile, economic forecasters believe it will be at least 18 months before Scotland makes up the output lost due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Fraser of Allander Institute said the country was now in its deepest recession in living memory.

29 June

Shops with on-street access and some workplaces can reopen, as can zoos, safari parks and playgrounds.

Queues formed outside stores across the country with shoppers eager to make their first face-to-face purchases in three months.

Small weddings and civil partnerships can be held outdoors.

It is the fourth day in a row that no coronavirus deaths are recorded in Scotland.

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