THE Westminster Government yesterday told their staff in Scotland to go back to work – despite Boris Johnson’s lockdown changes applying to England only.
Workers in England have been told to go back to work if they cannot work from home. However this change has not been made in Scotland and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon continues to implement Stay at Home messaging.
While England’s lockdown has been eased to encourage people back to work, let them visit garden centres and go sunbathing, Scotland’s rules are unchanged bar the once-a-day limit on outdoor exercise, which has been removed.
Head of the UK’s civil service Mark Sedwill sent workers England’s new Covid-19 advice but did not mention the separate rules for Scots, who are still being told to stay at home in efforts to slow the spread of the deadly virus.
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In his email, Sedwill wrote: “The Prime Minister set out the Government’s three-phase plan. From today, apart from the shielded groups, those who cannot work from home – and are not already operating from their workplace – are being encouraged to return to work.”
He went on: “The second and third phases, which are conditional on the incidence and reinfection rates continuing to fall, will see some schools, shops and other businesses reopening, but with operating models that maintain hygiene and social distancing, and in some sectors require PPE and testing.”
These phases are also only applicable to England.
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We’ve emailed our staff today to confirm there has been no change to working arrangements for Scottish Government employees, as outlined by the First Minister in her briefing yesterday and today.”
And hours later, Sturgeon said at a press conference: “If you are working from home right now, then my advice is that you should continue with that right now. We are not encouraging more people to go back to work right at the moment.”