Nicola Sturgeon under pressure to end Glasgow’s lockdown to support businesses and 'give people hope'

Nicola Sturgeon is under mounting pressure to announce the end of Glasgow's lockdown after a leading expert suggested the city could be moved into lower restrictions to support businesses. The First Minister is once again set to confirm on Friday afternoon whether Glasgow can join the rest of mainland Scotland in Level 2 restrictions, despite complaints from businesses that the last-minute announcements are costing them thousands in wasted stock and cancelled bookings. Scotland’s largest city is currently the only place in Great Britain where residents can’t visit each other inside their homes and hospitality businesses can’t serve alcohol indoors after a rise in cases linked to the so-called Indian variant. However, virus-related deaths and ICU admissions have remained low, with just four Covid patients in intensive care across the entire country as of Thursday. “If you’re balancing different harms and you want to take into account all the range of harms, to support businesses in Glasgow you would move them into Level 2,” said Prof Linda Bauld, a professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh. “The issue is how cautious does the government want to be on the public health policy front,” she told The Daily Telegraph, adding that “the first line of defence should not be lockdowns” but rather “vaccinations, surge testing and tailored support for self isolation”.