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Nicola Sturgeon to give Covid restrictions update today ahead of planned move to Level 0 on July 19

© PAFirst minister Nicola Sturgeon
First minister Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon is to announce whether coronavirus restrictions across Scotland will be eased as planned on Monday.

The first minister hopes to move the whole country into Level 0 from July 19, but the move is dependant on the latest case numbers and the vaccination rollout’s effect on hospital admissions.

At Level 0, the two-metre distancing rule is reduced to one metre in indoor public spaces.

Indoor gathering restrictions would be further lifted to allow up to eight people from up to three households to meet.

The 11pm closure time for pubs operating indoors will also be scrapped, with local licensing conditions applying instead.

But nightclubs and adult entertainment will have to remain shut.

Currently, only island areas are at Level 0, with the rest of the country under tighter restrictions.

The cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee are among the areas still at Level 2.

By July 19, it is expected that all Scottish adults will have been offered their first vaccine dose as well as being three weeks on from over-50s being double jabbed.

The Scottish Parliament has been recalled from the summer recess for Sturgeon’s announcement.

Last week she stressed that any additional lifting of coronavirus rules would require “care and caution” due to the record number of coronavirus cases in Scotland.

 

The latest data

On Monday, the latest Covid-19 statistics showed 2,134 coronavirus cases were recorded in the past 24 hours, but no deaths.

A total of 469 people were in hospital on Sunday with recently confirmed Covid-19, up 24 on the previous day, with 40 patients in intensive care.

Ahead of the announcement, Edinburgh University professor of public health Linda Bauld said she expected the move to Level 0 on July 19 would go ahead.

Speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme, she said: “What the Scottish Government will want to avoid is what is happening in Europe now.

“The Netherlands has seen an over 700% increase in cases. They’ve had to close nightclubs again, put restrictions on bars and restaurants, they’ve had to cancel mass events.

“I think the Scottish Government will want to continue to move forward, but Level 0 is not a huge jump, it’s a relatively modest jump to the next stage.”

Meanwhile, another public health specialist urged the first minister to keep the current restrictions in place for longer.

Professor Andrew Watterson of Stirling University said too few people currently had the protection of both vaccine doses.

He told the Times: “For this to be irreversible, it’s got to be cautious.

“We must rule nothing out and I’ve been very, very clear about that.

“We must protect the public and we will not hesitate to use the means that we have at our disposal.”

What Level 0 means

  • up to EIGHT people from FOUR households can meet in homes and stay overnight
  • up to TEN people from FOUR households can meet in an indoor public place
  • up to FIFTEEN people from FIFTEEN households can meet outdoors
  • Weddings and funerals can have up to 200 people
  • Nightclubs and adult entertainment venues are the only places and businesses that will remain closed

For full info visit the Scottish Government website.