Nicola Sturgeon to announce whether Scotland Covid restrictions will be eased

By Iain Leggat
Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 10:32 am
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Nicola Sturgeon is set to announce whether Scotland’s coronavirus restrictions can be eased as planned on Monday.

The First Minister has said she hopes to move the whole country to Level 0 from July 19, depending on the latest case numbers, hospital admissions and the vaccination rollout.

At a glance: 5 key points

  • Nicola Sturgeon is set to announce whether the easing of Scotland’s current coronavirus restrictions will go ahead as planned on Monday (19 July). The decision will be based on the latest case numbers, hospital admissions and vaccination rollout.
  • The move to Level 0 would reduce the two-metre distancing rule 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. However, nightclubs and adult entertainment will have to remain shut.
  • July 19 is expected to be the date when all Scottish adults will have been offered their first vaccine dose as well as being three weeks on from over-50s being double jabbed
  • 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.

What’s been said

The first minister said she wanted to move "beyond level zero" by scrapping the bulk of legal restrictions from 9 August, while maintaining some mitigations such as the use of face coverings in enclosed areas.

Ms Sturgeon has warned that these dates were "not set in stone" after Scotland was hit by a wave of new infections which at one point saw the country have the worst daily case rates in Europe.

Scottish Conservative Party leader Douglas Ross said ministers had failed to boost the vaccine programme and the Test and Protect system, but said "the public should not be punished" for this.

He added: "If Tuesday's statement does not deliver a plan of action for tackling the virus and a clear timetable for exiting r