A so called ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown in October is being considered in Scotland if Covid-19 continues to grow.

John Swinney, the Deputy First Minister, confirmed it has been suggested in evidence from the Scottish Government’s scientific advisors but no decision has been made.

Mr Swinney said it was, what he termed, “interruptive action”.

He told the Scottish Parliament Covid-19 Committee that it was one possible action under consideration.

Mr Swinney said: “A circuit-breaker in October has been suggested in the advice from SAGE.

He said: “ It has been raised as a possibility if the pandemic continues to grow.

“There may be a necessity to take interruptive action to slow the progress of the pandemic.

“The suggestion has been made.”

He said it depended on two elements. Firstly, the necessity for action of that type and secondly it has to be determined what that might involve.

Mr Swinney said: “The purpose would be to take more aggressive interruption if that was necessary.”


He added: “The circuit breaker concept is being explored because we have a suggestion it may  be effective or necessary.

“No decision has been made nor have we had advice it will be required.”

Asked if it could mean schools closing he raised the possibility of action coinciding with the school holidays.

Mr Swinney said: “The last thing I want to do is to close schools. We’ve gone to a great deal of effort to open schools. Very little evidence of in school transmission o the virus its miniscule.

“I want to ensure full time education to the greatest extend possible.

“In October we have school holidays. Over a three-week period starting this Friday.  The schools will be off for the normal holidays as planned.

On stricter measures being introduced at the at time he added: “It would represent an opportunity to slow down connections between individuals in the community”

He said that was the aim of the recent national measures announced last week and added a circuit breaker would be “Taking that process to a further extent.

Jason Leith, National Clinical Director said could you put in place a stay at home order for two weeks then go back to the route map to allow you to get through a harder winter period.

He said no-one has done it and it might “buy yourself 28 days”  to lower transmission before going into a difficult winter period.

Prof. Leitch added: “A circuit breaker is not the answer. The answer is whole country measures.”