Sumary of While England Gambles on ‘Freedom Day,’ Scotland Opts for Caution:
- EDINBURGH, Scotland — “Freedom Day” means something different north of the English border, so it was perhaps not surprising that independence-minded Scotland declined to fall in line earlier this week when Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain lifted virtually all remaining coronavirus restrictions in England.
- Scotland’s nationalist leader, Nicola Sturgeon, a politician whose rallying cry is freedom from the United Kingdom, has frequently taken a more cautious, deliberate approach to the virus than the more freewheeling Mr. Johnson.
- “To talk of tomorrow as ‘Freedom Day’ is not sensible,” Ms. Sturgeon, who is first minister and leader of the Scottish National Party, said before England’s big easing on Monday.
- Still, in a relationship in which so much is refracted through the prism of Scottish nationalism, Ms. Sturgeon’s conservative stance could pay off politically, especially if Mr. Johnson’s experiment backfires.
- Although the Scottish National Party kept control of the country’s Parliament in recent elections, it fell one seat short of a clear majority, taking some of the wind out of the movement.
- The mood in Edinburgh, which is gearing up for its annual arts festival next month, is more subdued than in liberated London.
- ”Scotland’s authorities were alarmed by a sudden surge in cases in June, when the highly transmissible Delta variant spread across the country.
- There are a variety of theories about why it was so prolific — not least that thousands of fans of Scotland’s national soccer team traveled to London for a game against England and brought the variant back with them.