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Scotland’s papers: Westminster’s five ‘lost weeks’ and UK ‘unlocked’


Boris Johnson

Scotland’s papers: Westminster’s five ‘lost weeks’ and UK ‘unlocked’

Image caption “Westminster fiddled while the virus raged” says the headline on The Sunday Times Scotland’s front page which says five weeks were lost as ministers “watched and waited”. The analysis claims failings in February “may have cost thousands of lives”. The story refers to Boris Johnson “skipping five Cobra meetings on the virus and…

Scotland’s papers: Westminster’s five ‘lost weeks’ and UK ‘unlocked’

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“Westminster fiddled while the virus raged” says the headline on The Sunday Times Scotland’s front page which says five weeks were lost as ministers “watched and waited”. The analysis claims failings in February “may have cost thousands of lives”. The story refers to Boris Johnson “skipping five Cobra meetings on the virus and claims calls to order protective gear were” ignored” as scientists’ warnings “fell on deaf ears”.

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“Britain unlocked” is the huge headline on the front of The Scottish Sun on Sunday which talks about a “top secret masterplan” to get the country out of lockdown. It describes a three-phase blueprint which would start on 11 May with the re-opening of small shops, nurseries and businesses such as hairdressers. The report also suggests Boris Johnson could return from sick leave next week.

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In a similar vein, The Scottish Mail on Sunday suggests schools could re-open “before summer” in Scotland. The paper claims that ministers are “actively considering” a phased return to the classroom “within weeks”. The reports talks about a “traffic light” plan that could allow some retailers to open.

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“Millions of masks arrive from China” is the front page headline in the Sunday National. It reports on the arrival of a plane full of PPE and medical equipment from China, which landed at Prestwick Airport yesterday, in the midst of a row over PPE supplies for NHS staff and care workers.

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The Sunday Telegraph claims Boris Johnson is “starting to take back control” after recovering from Covid-19 and is already issuing orders to ministers. The paper says Mr Johnson has started to work from Chequers, where he is recuperating. The PM has made a series of calls to First Secretary of State Dominic Raab and senior aides, according to the paper.

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The Herald on Sunday returns to the issue of testing with its headline “Scotland has dropped the ball on testing and surveillance” in a report which raises questions about how well the spread of coronavirus is being tracked in the community after it emerged that some Covid-19 assessment centres are not testing at all. The paper also says more than 8,000 visitors a week are continuing to arrive in Scotland from home and abroad without health checks.

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Scotland on Sunday’s cover depicts an iPad with a picture of the House of Commons as it delves into the workings of a virtual UK parliament. Scottish MPs supported the idea to keep business going with online sessions while they work from home.

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The Sunday Post’s lead story says a large Glasgow GP practice has ruled out sending residents of care homes to hospital to be treated for coronavirus. It claims surgery bosses have written to families of residents to tell them there was “no point” in sending their loved ones to hospital and they would instead be “made comfortable” in the home. In the report, Labour’s Richard Leonard calls the decision “very troubling”.

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In contrast, the Sunday Mail publishes claims it has uncovered plans to move patients with coronavirus into a care home in Falkirk. It says leaked documents have revealed at least one nursing home in Scotland will take in non-residential new patients as well as returning ones. The paper says the move has been branded “madness” by health professionals and comes less than a week after Nicola Sturgeon revealed 25% of all deaths linked to Covid-19 were in care homes.

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And the Scottish Sunday Express declares “hard work is paying off” and there is “new hope” as the number of patients in hospital with Covid-19 falls by 5%. As well as a “new wave of optimism”, it reports that a former boss of the London 2012 Olympics, Lord Deighton has been drafted in as a “PPE tsar” to boost efforts to solve the crisis of protective kit for front line health workers.

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