Vaccinations and Machinations
Welcome back! Another month down the line, what’s been happening in Scotland since our last update?
Well, we heard only yesterday that the UK has now administered the first vaccine jag (“jag” is the Scottish word for an injection – “jab” is the English word) to in excess of thirty million people – that’s approximately 57% of the total UK population. We are well on our way to the government’s target of everyone who wants the vaccine having received their first jag by July this year! I received my first jag early this month and was fine, experiencing a significant feeling of relief that I now have some level of protection against the worst effects of the virus.
As a result of the success of our country-wide vaccination programme, the governments of both Scotland and England are moving forward with planned easing of restrictions, albeit relatively slowly and with caution. England is moving ahead more quickly than Scotland, and Wales even more quickly than either of the other countries.
Here in Scotland, the “Stay at Home” lockdown is being lifted on 2nd April, and movement within your local area will be permitted. Certain retail shops will be allowed to open from 5th April and all children are due to return to school, full-time, after the Easter holidays. A more significant re-opening of the country is scheduled to take place on 26th April. The next planned date after that for further easing of restrictions is 17th May when, subject to the “data”, many more places will re-open.
Everyone I speak to is extremely grateful for our country’s successful vaccination programme, to date, and we are all looking forward to the forthcoming easing of restrictions.
The other significant event on the horizon is Scotland’s Parliamentary elections in May. After a recent, somewhat bruising, parliamentary enquiry into the SNP (Scottish National Party) government’s handling of a legal case they lost against the former First Minister, Alex Salmond, the SNP has been looking forward to the forthcoming elections. It has been expected they will win a majority of seats in Holyrood, thus allowing them to drive forward their case to have a second referendum on independence (“IndyRef2”).
However, Alex Salmond could still prove to be a thorn in the SNP’s side, as he announced in the last week that he is forming a new political party – Alba (Alba is the Gaelic word for Scotland). He hopes to win a small handful of seats in parliament in the May elections and help to create a “supermajority” for independence. According to reports, this has created some tensions within the SNP. The country is watching to see what happens in the next few weeks.
Well, that’s us up to date for now. Apart from a predicted last blast of winter heading our way from the north later this week, we are looking forward to the warmth and sunshine of a typical Scottish springtime and being able to get out and about in our glorious countryside.
If you are thinking about planning your next group trip to Scotland, we look forward to hearing from you!
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