Nicola Sturgeon set to delay easing of Covid restrictions in Scotland

22 June 2021, 07:44

Nicola Sturgeon is to make an announcement at Holyrood on Tuesday
Nicola Sturgeon is to make an announcement at Holyrood on Tuesday. Picture: PA

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Nicola Sturgeon is expected to delay the easing of Covid-19 restrictions in Scotland later today.

The First Minister will make an announcement at Holyrood on Tuesday as part of the latest review of the route map out of lockdown.

She said last week it was "unlikely" that any area would see restrictions eased on June 28 - the date it had been hoped all of Scotland would move into Level 0 restrictions.

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Ms Sturgeon said this move would likely be delayed by three weeks.

The Scottish Government will also publish a review on Tuesday of physical distancing requirements, along with a paper which Ms Sturgeon said would set out "what we hope life will look like beyond Level 0 - as we get to the point where we can lift all, or virtually all, of the remaining restrictions".

This level, the lowest in Scotland's five-tier system, is only currently in place in the island authorities of Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles, with all mainland areas having either Level 1 or Level 2 restrictions applied.

Ms Sturgeon previously told MSPs: "Given the current situation - and the need to get more people fully vaccinated before we ease up further - it is reasonable to indicate now that I think it unlikely that any part of the country will move down a level from June 28.

"Instead, it is likely that we will opt to maintain restrictions for a further three weeks from June 28 and use that time to vaccinate - with both doses - as many more people as possible.

"Doing that will give us the best chance, later in July, of getting back on track and restoring the much greater normality that we all crave."