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Nicola Sturgeon announces 5 Tier Covid-19 system for Scotland
23 October 2020, 13:52 | Updated: 23 October 2020, 13:56
Nicola Sturgeon has unveiled Scotland's five tier coronavirus restriction system and ruled out seeing a lockdown as draconian as the one brought in in March.
The Scottish First Minister laid out the latest measures which had been anticipated since a similar three-tiered system was introduced in England by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
If approved at Holyrood next week, they will come into force in Scotland on Monday November 2.
The Tiers begin at Level 0, which Ms Sturgeon said was the "the closest to normality they believe is possible without a vaccine".
She added: "Level 0 is broadly comparable to the position we reached in August when the virus was very suppressed, but still a threat.
"At this level, we would be able to meet indoors with 8 people from 3 households. and most businesses would be open, albeit with safety measures in place.
"Level 1 sees slightly more restrictions - for example, indoor household meetings would reduce to 6 people from 2 households - but there would still be a reasonable degree of normality overall.
"However, Levels 2 and 3 are intended to apply at times such as now, when transmission is higher and rising
"Level 2 entails restrictions broadly similar to those currently in place just now outside the central belt – with limitations on hospitality and no gatherings in people’s homes.
But Ms Sturgeon ruled out the possibility of there being a another lockdown which would be as severe as the initial restrictions seen in March and through much of Spring.
Explaining the severity of level four, she said: "And finally, level 4 – which of course, we would not use unless absolutely necessary – would apply when transmission rates are or threatening to become very high, with corresponding pressure on the NHS.
"However even under level 4 restrictions, 6 people from up to 2 households could still meet outdoors; there would be no limit on outdoor exercise for individuals; and manufacturing and construction businesses would stay open, with safety measures in place.
"In other words, we do not envisage returning to a situation as severe as the first lockdown."