This is when MSPs will debate the new five-level restrictions - with Edinburgh expected to be placed in level three

MSPs are to debate and vote on Scotland's new five-level system of local Covid-19 restrictions on Tuesday.

By Gary Flockhart
Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 7:51 am
Updated Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 11:52 am

The Scottish Government has drawn up the new system – which is linked to the three-tier system in force in England – to come into force from November 2.

The new framework would add to the three-tier set-up currently in place in England.

It will be debated in Holyrood on Tuesday afternoon.

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MSPs are due to debate the strategic framework for tackling Covid-19, with Edinburgh expected to be placed in 'tier three'.

If the draft framework is approved by MSPs, ministers will then decide later in the week on which lockdown levels will apply to different parts of Scotland.

The grades will range from 0 to 4 with 0 being the lowest lockdown level.

Grades will be given to local authority areas, rather than the current NHS health board restrictions currently in use.

What time will the debate start at Holyrood?

The debate is expected to take place at 3pm.

What level of restriction is Edinburgh expected to be placed under?

According to a leaked document, Edinburgh and the Lothians are set for 'level three' of the Scottish Government's coronavirus restrictions.

What would Level 3 look like for Edinburgh?

With a Level 3 lockdown, hospitality venues will not be allowed to serve alcohol indoors or outdoors, although food can be consumed on premises with potential time restrictions.

Entertainment premises will be closed. People should avoid public transport and there should be no travel outside of the area, unless essential.

Additional protective measures may be in place for services such as hairdressers.

What did The First Minister say?

Nicola Sturgeon said: “We do not envisage returning to a situation as severe as the first lockdown imposed back in late March.”

She stressed Scotland is “not back at square one”, and the framework is intended to build on the progress made in tackling the virus.

How do all 5 levels in Scotland work?

Ms Sturgeon broke down the levels as follows:

Level 0: “Broadly comparable to the position we reached in August when the virus was very suppressed in Scotland but still a threat. At this level we would be able to meet indoors with eight people from three households and most businesses would be open, albeit with safety measures in place.”

Level 1: “Sees slightly more restrictions, household meetings would reduce to six people from two households but there would still be a reasonable degree of normality overall.”

Level 2: “Entails restrictions broadly similar to those currently in place just now outside the central belt, so limitations on hospitality and no gatherings inside people’s homes.”

Level 3: “Broadly similar to the tougher restrictions which currently apply across the central belt, with much of hospitality being closed completely. There are however some key differences, for example we envisage restaurants being able to be open at least partially in Level 3.”

Level 4: “The highest level, which of course we would not use unless absolutely necessary, would apply when transmission rates are, or are threatening to become, very high with corresponding pressure on the NHS and perhaps the risk of the NHS being overwhelmed.”

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