Covid Scotland: Edinburgh and the Lothians coronavirus levels to stay the same as Nicola Sturgeon sets new reopening date of July 19
Coronavirus restrictions in Scotland will remain unchanged next week, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.
Under the Scottish Government’s previous plans, the country was meant to move to Level 0 from June 28.
However, the First Minister said in an update on Tuesday that Covid restrictions would remain unchanged.
The widely-expected delay means Edinburgh will remain in Level 2 for at least the next three weeks.
Midlothian will also remain in Level 2.
Meanwhile, West Lothian and East Lothian will both stay in Level 1.
Ms Sturgeon told MSPs that July 19 was the new indicative date for all of Scotland to be placed into Level 0.
She said she “very much hoped” that further delays to the lifting of restrictions would not be necessary, adding that the Scottish Government would speed up - or slow down - the process as guided by the data.
The decision comes amid growing concerns over the infection rate in Scotland.
Yesterday, 2,167 positive cases were reported - a positivity rate of 9.1 per cent - and the number of new cases recorded over the past week has increased by almost
40 per cent on the week before.
“That total is seven times higher than in early May,” Ms Sturgeon explained, “and higher than at any point since late January.
“This reflects the fact that the faster transmitting Delta variant is now dominant.”
She added: “We cannot be complacent about this.”
Despite the delay, the First Minister announced changes to restrictions at weddings and funerals.
From Monday, June 28, live entertainment will be allowed at weddings, although dancing will not as attendees will have to be seated.
Those accompanying the couple down the aisle will also no longer need to wear face coverings, while those working at weddings will no longer count towards the total number of people who can attend.
For funerals, people from more than one household will also now be allowed to carry a coffin or take a cord when lowering it.
The delay in Scotland follows an announcement last week by Boris Johnson, who confirmed the planned full reopening of England - scheduled for June 21 - would not take place for at least four weeks.