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Coronavirus update: Uncertainty remains over Treasury position on furlough

By David Porter

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In Scotland in the last 24 hours there have been a total of 999 positive cases which equates to 10.3per cent of those tested overall.

NHS Greater Glasgow saw 378 cases, Lanarkshire 207, Lothian 127 and Ayrshire 107 with the remaining cases across Scotland with only the Western Isles not recording positive tests

A further 28 deaths were also recorded with Covid-19 as a contributing factor in the last 24 hours.

Speaking at her daily briefing First Minster Nicola Sturgeon commented on the furlough situation: "Since yesterday there have been some seemingly significant comments made by the Prime Minister who hasappeared to confirm the scheme.

"I welcome that commitment but welcome it with caution, having not seen the detail of what that means in practice, in particular we haven't seen confirmation from the Treasury.

"The point is at what level and on same basis and eligibility as during November.

"Some doubt was cast by a member of the Cabinet this morning but notwithstanding this we hope the commitment will hold, but can't be certain until we see it tuned into certainty by the Treasury.

"It is important for people across the country but also for our ability to plan and steer the best course through this pandemic.

"It is not helpful to be distracted by a lack of clarity and far form ideal if vital public health decisions have to be distorted by financial help that only takes account of the situation in England."

She continued: "We face difficult judgments and there is no room for complacency but at present Covid is less prevalent and down to the sacrifice that people have been making and we intend to monitor progress this week ahead of allocation of levels on Tuesday.

"We are now, we think seeing some encouraging signs in new figures - rates are slowing down.

"But as we know day to day figures and crucially the test positive rate remain high.

"The situation is a fragile one and we must progress with caution."

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