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Speaking at the daily coronavirus press briefing in Edinburgh, Nicola Sturgeon said she was “frustrated” to know the furlough scheme at its highest 80 percent contribution will not be extended past December 2, at the end of a coronavirus lockdown in England. She blasted: “If we don’t get the commitment translated into practice then clearly that has implications for the length of time that we would have access to the more generous furlough scheme.
“I have a duty to take ordered, rational and as well thought through decisions for the people of Scotland in a really unpredictable and highly uncertain situation as I can.
“And I can’t allow myself day today to be distracted and thrown off course by chopping and changing of positions from the UK Government.
“And you can probably detect a degree of frustration in my voice and that is because it is frustrating, but I need to focus on trying to take the best decision.”
She continued: “We should all have access to the same financial support. Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland shouldn’t be at disadvantage to England.
“Nor should we in advantage. There should be a level playing field there and I hope we get to that position.”
Ms Sturgeon has said Scotland was “relatively speaking” in a “strong position”.
While she added there would be “difficult judgments for the future”, she said prevalence of coronavirus was lower in Scotland than other parts of the UK.
“That is, we believe, partly down to the plan we have been following,” the First Minister said.
With Scotland having moved to a new five-tier system of restrictions on Monday, Ms Sturgeon said her government would be “closely monitoring” the data ahead of the first review of the levels council areas have been placed in on Tuesday November 10.
She said: “The fact that we acted quickly to control the pandemic in September and October means we are now, we think, seeing some encouraging signs in the figures for new cases.”
Scotland has recorded 28 deaths from coronavirus and 999 positive tests in the past 24 hours, Nicola Sturgeon said.
The First Minister said the death toll under this measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – has risen to 2,877.
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Ms Sturgeon said 67,011 people have now tested positive in Scotland, up from 66,012 the previous day.
The daily test positivity rate is 10.3 percent, up from 9.6 percent on the previous day.
Of the new cases, 378 are in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 207 in Lanarkshire, 128 in Lothian, and 107 in Ayrshire and Arran.
There are 1,254 people in hospital confirmed to have the virus, up by 29 in 24 hours.
Of these patients, 92 are in intensive care, a decrease of one.
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