Nicola Sturgeon coronavirus briefing: Why there is no briefing on Tuesday, and how the First Minister will update Scotland instead

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will not be giving her usual lunchtime briefing today but will instead make an announcement in Holyrood this afternoon.

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 12:00 pm

During today’s briefing in Parliament, which is expected to take place from about 2pm, Ms Sturgeon will update the nation on the latest Covid information and discuss the potential easing of lockdown restrictions in the coming weeks.

What will the First Minister likely say in her announcement?

Ms Sturgeon has previously said that she hopes to relax the rules around outdoor meetings by this week.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during First Minister's Questions at the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood, Edinburgh picture: PA/Russell Cheyne

Speaking at one of her daily coronavirus briefings last week, the First Minister said she was keen to allow people to meet up with other loved ones outdoors – outdoor meetings of four people from two households are scheduled to be allowed between 15 March and 5 April according to the Scottish Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

Last week Ms Sturgeon said: “I am hopeful that next week we might be able to make some relatively minor, but I think important, changes to the rules around our ability to meet people outdoors and also to how young people are able to interact with their friends outdoors.

“I think it’s really important that we don’t get carried away yet.

“The overall stay-at-home message needs to stay for a bit longer so that we don’t send our progress into reverse, but I am very keen that within that we should all get a bit more opportunity to see a loved one, as the first steps we take out of this lockdown.”

She has previously said easing of restrictions may be “accelerated” due to the recent “success” of the vaccine.

In a coronavirus briefing yesterday, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “The First Minister will set out what measures we can take tomorrow, and she has been clear that we will try to relax lockdown as quickly as we possibly can do. But we have to do it in a sustainable manner and that means taking the appropriate steps on the appropriate sequence to make sure that we don't run the risk of the virus of the virus running away from us again."

What are the current restrictions?

Level four restrictions have been in place across mainland Scotland since Boxing Day.

Schools have been the only places that have seen a gradual phased return to normal so far.

Some senior phase pupils have already returned to school on a limited basis to complete work for their qualifications, while P1 to P3 pupils have returned full-time.

All secondary school pupils in Scotland will return to classrooms part-time from 15 March Ms Sturgeon has said.

It had previously been announced that those in S1 to S3 would not return to school until April.

But Ms Sturgeon said all secondary pupils will now get some in-school time before the Easter holidays.

Pupils in S4 to S6 who are studying for national qualifications are being prioritised for face-to-face learning.

It has also been confirmed that children in primary four to seven will return full-time from 15 March.

How to watch Nicola Sturgeon’s update?

Viewers can watch live on Scottish Parliament TV and follow the First Minister’s Live YouTube Stream as well as the Scottish Government's official Twitter page – @scotgov.

The Scotsman and Edinburgh Evening News will also be running a live blog where you can follow all the updates.

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