Lockdown could be reintroduced if Covid-19 cases spike after restrictions lifted

Measures to halt the spread of coronavirus may be reimposed after being lifted if cases spike rapidly, Scotland’s chief medical officer has said.

Dr Catherine Calderwood said on Sunday that the lockdown will be in place for at least 13 weeks.

She confirmed on Monday the removal of the lockdown may not be permanent.

An increase in cases, hospital admissions and deaths is expected when the lockdown is lifted.

A more rapid spike than predicted could lead to the lockdown being reintroduced.

She said: “What we do know is that once restrictive measures are lifted, we will see a spike in the number of cases with the virus again, and a spike in the number of hospital admissions, ICU admissions and deaths.

“It is entirely possible that, having lifted the measures, we would have to place them back down again.

“Perhaps not all of them, perhaps not as stringently, depending on the size of this second peak.”

She added: “I would want the people in Scotland to be aware that actually this 13 weeks is one figure that seems a very long time, but unfortunately – unless we really have got this virus under control – we may not be able to return to normal after that.”

Before the powers will be rescinded, Dr Calderwood said the NHS will need to see the number of transmissions fall “very significantly”.

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