‘Rolling our eyes!’ Scotland health chief squirms as BBC host attacks SNP’s new FIVE tiers

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Scotland has announced a new alert level framework approach to the coronavirus pandemic. The system, similar to England’s, will compromise of tiers, but will be five instead of the three in England. National Clinical Director Jason Leitch was confronted by BBC Breakfast host Charlie Stayt over whether the SNP’s new plan would add to further “confusion”.

Mr Stayt asked: “If there were people who were confused before, how worried were you that making an announcement, as you have, about a five tier system would make eyes roll and people run for cover?

“How worried were you that that could be the effect? Have us rolling our eyes? I’m using that language but it’s a really serious issue isn’t it?

“Because you need people to engage, we know this. Communication’s important and simplicity of message.

“Are you worried that five tiers could make people more confused?”

Mr Leitch replied: “It’s absolutely crucial, and I think there are some people eye-rolling of course.

“The compromise here is that the simplest thing to do is March 23.

“The simplest communication is lockdown, stay in your homes, don’t come out except for exercise.

“We think Scotland is at a point in the pandemic where we need a more regional approach.”

He continued: “That wasn’t true on March 23, it’s true now.

“So let me quickly say why we’ve done five. The middle three are basically the English three roughly, give or take some nuances.

“But the middle Tier 1, 2 and 3 are the same as England. That allows us to align with the financial support, allows us to align across the border.”

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The health chief added: “But we thought we needed an aspirational layer at the bottom, number 0.

“If you look at our numbers, and this isn’t to prejudge where we’re going to put people, the islands have been consistently much lower than the mainland, for example.

“We also thought, unfortunately at the other end, with a somber face, we needed a slightly higher layer that looked a little bit more like true lockdown from March: that’s 4.”

Tier 4 will be the closest to the full lockdown Scotland experienced earlier this year.

This will force all businesses considered ‘non-essential’ to close their doors to the public.

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