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Covid-19: Glasgow to remain at Level 3 but hopes for Level 2 in early June
28 May 2021, 14:21
Glasgow will remain at Level 3 coronavirus restrictions but could drop to Level 2 in early June, Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.
The Scottish First Minister said on Friday that the number of new infections each day are still "uncomfortably high" but lockdown measures in the city could be eased next Saturday if numbers continue to stabilise and fall.
Ms Sturgeon said it would be "premature" to move Scotland's biggest city into Level 2 immediately, with over 230 new cases were reported in Glasgow on Friday alone.
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Currently, people in the city can meet in groups of up to 6 from 2 households indoors but only in public places such as a café, pub or restaurant.
In most of Scotland, however, groups of 6 people from 3 households are currently allowed to meet with friends and family inside their homes.
Cases last week in Glasgow continued to rise by 30%, the First Minister reported, while test positivity remained around 4%, but public health experts have said the restrictions have had an impact on transmission in the city.
Ms Sturgeron told the press conference on Friday: "There are some early signs that the situation is stabilising in Glasgow."
But she added: "Weighing up all of these different factors is inevitably really difficult - case numbers in Glasgow... are uncomfortably high, but we are seeing signs of progress.
"The view of the national incident management team is two-fold. Firstly, that it would be premature to move Glasgow out of Level 3 immediately this week while the situation remains so fragile.
"However, and secondly, if incidence continues to stabilise and assuming levels of hospitalisation remain reasonably stable, the incident management team has made clear to me that they would support a move to Level 2 from the end of next week."
She added: "My message to the people of Glasgow is don't lose heart, on the contrary, take heart from the progress that we are seeing."
Ms Sturgeon also said she would confirm if the rest of Scotland would be able to move to Level 1 on June 7, as planned, on Tuesday in Holyrood.
Speaking more widely about Scotland, she said there is both "cause for concern" and "cause for optimism" but there still needs to be a "reasonable degree of caution" exercised.
Case numbers are on the rise in the country, with Friday's daily case number the highest since 25 March and the R number potentially rising as high as 1.3.
She said: "A key factor behind the increases... is that the new April-02 variant, which we think is more transmissible than most other types of the virus, probably now accounts for 50% or even more of our daily cases."
She added: "The increase in cases so far does seem to be concentrated in younger age groups and this may indicate that vaccination is having a protective effect for older people which of course we want to see."
Urging Scots to get vaccinated, she said: "Getting vaccinated is in all of our best interests, whatever age we are."
She added: "It's also the most important thing we can all do to help our family, our friends and our neighbours - by getting vaccinated we're helping reduce the overall harm and making it easier for all of us to get back to normal.
"Rolling up our sleeves - not once but twice - really is part of our civic public duty to each other and to the country right now."