There will be “no immediate change” in many areas of Scotland when a five-tier system of coronavirus restrictions begins next week, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
Pubs and restaurants are closed across the central belt as a result of measures introduced earlier this month, while a 6pm indoor curfew applies on hospitality elsewhere.
It comes despite signs the current restrictions are having an effect and the increase in positive cases is slowing.
“For many places there may be no immediate change,” the First Minister said.
Ms Sturgeon told the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing on Monday that more details of the tier system, which is due to begin on November 2, will be announced ahead of a debate in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday.
If the draft framework is approved by MSPs, ministers will then decide later in the week on which lockdown levels will apply to different parts of Scotland.
She explained level three is likely to be similar to restrictions in place in the central belt while the rest of the country will be equivalent to level two.
Ms Sturgeon added a “sustained” fall of virus transmissions will be needed for an area to move down tiers.
“The best way of moving to a lower level of restrictions and of living more freely is to have a lower level of transmission of the virus,” she said.
“The best way we have of driving transmission lower and keeping it low is for all of us to stick to the rules that are in place at any given time.
“And that, of course, is a collective responsibility for all of us.”
The First Minister said she has “no plans” to reduce the two-week self-isolation period.
Asked about reports the UK Government is considering reducing the length of time those with the virus and their close contacts should isolate, she said: “We have no plans at the moment to reduce the period of self-isolation.”
She added: “We keep all of this under review – we don’t want people to live under the most severe restrictions for longer than is absolutely necessary.”
National clinical director Professor Jason Leitch said he is not aware of any scientific advice in any part of the UK that supports a reduction from the current 14-day period, or 10 days from the date a person’s symptoms end.
Prof Leitch said: “We have no plans with the present clinical advice to change that in any way.
“As far as I know, there is no clinical advice in the other three UK countries.”
He added: “There’s no present plan, but we keep it under constant review globally and locally and if we think the incubation period has changed or we think the risk has changed in some way, then we will of course advise appropriately
“But for now, I’m afraid it’s still a 14 day self-isolation.”
Also speaking at the briefing, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said Scotland is “on track” to have capacity for 65,000 coronavirus tests per day by winter.
She said a “significant proportion” of the testing capacity increase will come from three new regional laboratory hubs that she expects to open in November and December.
More than a third of the potential capacity will be provided by the new laboratories, she said.
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