Coronavirus latest news: Sharp rise in cases due ‘in part’ to schools return, says Nicola Sturgeon

Coronavirus latest news: Sharp rise in cases due ‘in part’ to schools return, says Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon has insisted she is not considering a circuit breaker lockdown despite Covid cases almost doubling in the space of a week. The First Minister said the “sharp rise” was “possibly or at least in part” due to the return of schools.

Speaking at a press conference, Ms Sturgeon said: “The rise here [in Scotland] is particularly sharp at the moment. That is possibly, at least in part, a reflection of the fact our schools return earlier, and the increased interactions that come with that.

“Although vaccination has significantly weakened the link between a high volume of new cases and serious harm to health, it hasn’t completely broken that link.”

Scotland has recorded four coronavirus deaths and 6,835 new cases in the past 24 hours – a record daily high for positive tests north of the border – while a total of 479 people were in hospital with the virus, up 53, while 47 patients were in intensive care.

Ms Sturgeon added that a record number of tests conducted on Thursday could also have contributed to the high case numbers.

Tube travel is regularly reaching at least half of pre-pandemic levels, Transport for London (TfL) said.

Demand for London Underground services on weekdays is often at 50 per cent of what it was before the pandemic, while it is hitting more than 60 per cent at weekends.

This is up from around 40 per cent across the entire week in early May.

An average of more than 1.8 million journeys are being made on the Tube every weekday.

Vernon Everitt, TfL’s managing director for customers, communication and technology, said: “Ridership on our services continues to recover as more and more people head out to enjoy London’s vibrant shops, leisure and entertainment.

“We remain focused on providing safe, clean and convenient services for everyone.

“And beyond the bank holiday weekend we’ll be ready to support a further increase in ridership as the holiday season draws to a close and more Londoners return to their workplaces.”

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