Covid Scotland: Jason Leitch warns against booking summer holiday in leaked video

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Scotland’s national clinical director has warned civil servants not to book a holiday abroad until 2022, a leaked video has revealed.

In the video, first reported in The Scotsman, Professor Jason Leitch answers questions from civil servants on various topics relating to Covid-19 vaccines and restrictions.

Warning that the country needed to change its perceptions around the number of coronavirus cases, he said Scotland would come out of lockdown “very very slowly”.

He said: “I wouldn’t book a non-refundable summer holiday if I were you.

“I might book a holiday in the autumn or Christmas time but even then I’m not entirely sure what the world will look like in terms of freedom of movement.”

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He added: “I think we’ll be in this version of lockdown for a little bit longer and then gradually – as we came in gradually – we’ll go out gradually.

“But it’ll be slow – very very slow because we’ve learned now twice we’ve learned how quickly it is to go up and how slow it is to come down.”

Professor Leitch warned it was likely Scotland would have to “learn what the post-Covid world looks like” and highlighted how the world learned to live with Spanish flu but added the process “would take a little while”.

He also suggested it would take cases dropping significantly before restrictions would begin to be eased due to concerns around public perception of the pandemic.

He said: “One of the things we’re worried about is resetting the country’s expectations at 1,500 [cases per day]being a good thing – 1,500 is not a good thing.

“It’s awful and it has awful implications for those who get seriously unwell so we need to drop that number further down.”

Yesterday Nicola Sturgeon announced that lockdown will to continue in Scotland until at least mid-February.

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She said: “That means that the lockdown restrictions – including the strict stay at home requirement – will remain in place across mainland Scotland and some island communities until at least the middle of February.”

It comes as 92 more Covid deaths were recorded in Scotland.

Sturgeon revealed that 1656 positive cases were reported yesterday, meaning the total number of cases since the pandemic started has now reached 166,583.

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