Nicola Sturgeon says Glasgow immigration protest DIDN’T spark Covid outbreak

Two men were detained by immigration on Kenmure Street in Pollokshields on May 13, where many Muslims in the community would be celebrating Eid.

Hundreds gathered to protest the forced removal, with no social distancing in place as they surrounded the cop van and officers to block their way out.

That led to fears over the spread of the virus.

Glasgow has been experiencing a spike in coronavirus cases linked to the Indian variant, and was placed back in Level Three restrictions while most of the rest of the country moved to Level Two.

The First Minister held a Covid briefing today and was asked whether the Kenmure Street protest, as well as things like election campaigning could have have an impact on soaring cases.

But she insists that the rise had already started to take place in Glasgow and Pollokshields BEFORE these events.

On the immigration rally, she said: “I can’t be absolutely certain about things either having, or not having, an impact on transmission

“The Kenmure Street protest – the situation in Glasgow had started before that. One of the reasons I was so furious with what the Home Office did that day, was because they knew they were doing that in the midst of an increase in cases.

“That increase in cases had already started in Pollokshields. In fact the day before the Home Office protest, I with HUmza Yousaf and Anas Sarwar, went to Glasgow Central Mosque because it was the day before Eid, to say ‘we’ve got rising cases in these populations, be really careful.

“So it’s not the case that that started that, it was already underway.”

This week, Priti Patel aid that forced removal of migrants will continue despite a backlash following the Glasgow immigration raid.

Meanwhile, the First Minister revealed she is “cautiously optimistic” about Glasgow’s Covid situation ahead of a levels decision later this week.

After keeping tighter restrictions in place for another week last Friday, the First Minister today revealed cases are stabilising.

The seven-day case rate has increased from 112 per 100,000 to 137, but figures from the past two days have also revealed the positive tests are levelling out.

And she said there is some signs for cautious optimism that the city could be moved to Level 2 at the end of this week, when she makes another update.

It comes after struggling business chiefs hit out last week after it emerged they could face at least another fortnight of Level 3 curbs.

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