Covid Scotland: Nicola Sturgeon to give coronavirus update and announce if nightclub, stadium and social distancing restrictions will be lifted
Nicola Sturgeon is set to announce if Scotland will lift its coronavirus restrictions and move beyond the current Level 0 rules in place.
When will she give her statement?
She will be speaking on Tuesday afternoon at around 2pm in the Scottish Parliament.
What are the rules at the moment?
The Scottish First Minister moved the country to Level 0 on July 19 which increased the numbers of people who could gather and extended the opening hours of hospitality.
Other businesses such as soft play were finally allowed to reopen – however nightclubs are among those still closed ahead of Tuesday’s statement.
What could the announcement mean?
Sports stadia and concert venues may go back to being able to welcome full capacity crowds again for the first time in nearly 18 months if changes are approved.
While lifting the restrictions could also bring an end to social distancing, Ms Sturgeon has already confirmed face coverings in shops and public transport will remain mandatory for “some time to come”.
What have the other party leaders said?
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “The success of Scotland and the UK’s vaccine scheme overall means we can now look to move forward, cautiously but confidently, and remove almost all Covid restrictions.
“The blanket requirement to self-isolate for 10 days should be amended for those who are double vaccinated, since the virus now poses far less risk to people with that level of protection.
“We should move to a test-first system that lets people get on with their lives safely.
“Scotland’s economic recovery hinges on the SNP Government moving beyond Covid restrictions – we must seize this opportunity to start rebuilding from the damage of Covid now and not delay any longer.”
Anas Sarwar, Scottish Labour leader, said: “We are at a crucial moment in our exit from restrictions and while there is light at the end of the tunnel, we must make sure we take all the action necessary to jump start Scotland’s recovery.
“We need to ensure that people are kept safe and that businesses are helped to restart the economy.
“Perhaps most importantly, we urgently need a plan for our NHS and care systems to ensure that workers feel supported, services are invested in and the backlog of appointments is cleared.
“We have to learn to live with the virus, but to do so in such a way that the people of Scotland, our NHS and our economy are supported and protected.”
Gillian Mackay, the Scottish Green’s party’s health spokeswoman, said: “The Scottish Government must ensure that there is no repeat of last year’s shambolic return to campus, when thousands of students were forced to self-isolate in student halls as the virus ran riot.
“With just a few weeks to go until the new term begins, international students deserve clarity about the process of entering the country and settling in on campus. Yet ministers are unable to tell them how and where they’ll be required to isolate.
“Students must also have easy access to testing and vaccination on campus, and while many younger students won’t be fully vaccinated, it’s essential that guidance around mask wearing and distancing is clear. Support must also be made available for anyone who tests positive.”