SCOTTISH GP surgeries and community pharmacies will remain open on Good Friday and Easter Monday to help relieve pressure on out-of-hours services.

GP surgeries will be open to offer treatment for non-coronavirus related health issues, where it is safe to do so, the NHS said.

Community pharmacies have also been requested to remain open where possible to support the wider efforts of the NHS.

Patients with Covid-19 symptoms are to check first for advice or dial NHS 24 on 111 if their symptoms worsen or do not improve after seven days.

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Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “I want to thank all health and social care staff for their continuing extraordinary efforts as we face this pandemic.

“Given ongoing demand on our NHS, I have taken the unusual step of asking GP practices and community pharmacies to remain open on Good Friday and Easter Monday – but only if it is safe to do so.

“Working with the Scottish GP Committee of BMA Scotland, the Scottish Government has agreed an additional £15 million to help GP practices meet the costs of responding to Covid-19.

“Part of this will help to cover the cost of remaining open on Good Friday and Easter Monday and the remainder will help to meet other costs being faced by practices during this difficult time. I have also been clear that the Scottish Government will meet any additional costs incurred by community pharmacies to remain open on these bank holidays.

“As always – if you have a critical medical emergency, whether related to coronavirus or not, phone 999.”

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