Scotland has recorded no new deaths from people who have tested positive for coronavirus for a fourth consecutive day, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.
Speaking at the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing, she said the latest figures showed no new deaths within the previous 24 hours, with the total remaining at 2,482.
She said: “This is the fourth day in a row when no deaths of patients confirmed through a test have been recorded in Scotland.”
She added: “Now, of course, two of these days have been weekends and we know that registration can be artificially low at weekends, and we may see more deaths registered later this week.
“But there’s no doubt that these recent figures demonstrate beyond any doubt how much progress Scotland has made in tackling Covid and that is down to the efforts and sacrifices of everyone across the country.
“I want again to say a heartfelt thank you to all of you for that.”
Ms Sturgeon said five more people tested positive for the virus since Sunday, taking the total to 18,241.
A total of 740 patients were in Scottish hospitals with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, down 38 in 24 hours. Of these, 10 were in intensive care, a fall of three.
The First Minister also addressed the issue of “air bridges” enabling international travel between certain countries without quarantine.
NS: "The UK Government made its announcement on what are called air bridges â which allow travel to and from certain countries without quarantine restrictions - unfortunately, without any prior consultation at all with the Scottish Government."— The SNP (@theSNP) June 29, 2020
She criticised the UK Government for failing to consult the Scottish Government ahead of announcing proposed changes to the blanket travel ban on Friday.
“As a result we are still considering our response and our own proposals,” she said.
“We can and do of course see the benefits of adopting a consistent approach across all parts of the UK.
“However, we also know that quarantine measures, albeit perhaps on a more targeted basis in future, may become more important in Scotland rather than less as our infection rates fall, since then the relative impact of new cases from outside Scotland potentially becomes greater.
“And the prospect of cases coming in from elsewhere poses a risk – not just to health but also to our economy.
“We therefore want to take a bit of time to consider the public health impact of the UK Government’s proposals as well as the data and evidence underpinning them, which hopefully we will see before too long and we will make a further announcement once we have had the opportunity to do so.”
Ms Sturgeon said approaching the issue through the prism of Scottish politics or the constitutional question would be “inappropriate” and said she has no plans to introduce a quarantine on visitors from England.
She said Scotland’s Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf had a conference call with Michael Gove and the other devolved administrations on air bridges on Monday morning.
The Scottish Government said the quarantine rules are a devolved matter as they relate to public health.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “On the issue of quarantine we have taken a four-nation approach to these matters throughout. We have worked closely with the devolved administrations at all times and this continues.”
Asked whether Ms Sturgeon could block the plan, he added: “We do continue to work with the Scottish Government on this. Our approach on the issue of quarantine has been a four-nation one and we will continue to work with the devolved administrations.”