Level 0 Scotland: when will areas move into lowest restrictions level - and what lockdown rules are included?

Nicola Sturgeon’s latest Covid update resulted in many areas moving into Level 1 - but when will the country edge closer to ‘normality’?

Nicola Sturgeon’s last major Covid update saw many areas of Scotland move into Level 1, paving the way for a greater level of normality.

This change permits more people to meet outdoors and inside pubs and restaurants.

Sign up to our NationalWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

And Glasgow, the only area of the country which remained in Level 3, was allowed to move down to Level 2, in welcome news for residents of the city.

Level 0 is described as 'nearly normal', except from physical distancing rules, limits on numbers socialising and some hospitality restrictions (Getty Images)

It was hoped that most of the mainland would join some island communities in Level 0 this summer, but with rising coronavirus cases, there are fears that the government’s roadmap out of lockdown will be thrown off-course.

So, when might areas move down to the lowest level of restrictions - and what does “nearly normal” entail?

Here is everything you need to know.

What areas of Scotland are in Level 0?

Some areas of the country have already moved down to Level 0.

From midnight on Saturday 5 June, Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles moved from Level 1 into the lowest level of Covid rules.

However, that was excluding Skye, which moved into Level 1.

The full list is: all Highland islands (except Skye), Orkney, Shetland, Na h-Eileanan Siar (Outer Hebrides) and Argyll and Bute islands of Coll, Colonsay, Erraid, Gometra, Iona, Islay, Jura, Mull, Oronsay, Tiree and Ulva.

When could the rest of Scotland move to Level 0?

The First Minister previously said that she hoped all areas of the country would be moved into Level 0 at the end of June.

But the rapid spread of the Delta variant first identified in India has led the government to adopt a further cautious approach.

Ms Sturgeon’s most recent update saw the planned nationwide move to Level 1 pushed back, and the government has said the latest Covid restrictions will not be reviewed until 28 June.

Scots will hopefully learn then which areas will join the islands in Level 0.

This change could be more likely for some areas than others, depending on local infection rates, hospitalisations and deaths.

What rules do we need to follow in Level 0?

This level is described as “nearly normal”, except from physical distancing rules, limits on numbers socialising and some hospitality restrictions.

In Level 0, 10 adults from four households are able to meet in cafes and pubs, while 15 adults from 15 households can meet outdoors.

Ceremonies, like weddings and funerals, can be attended by 200 people.

And the capacity for seated indoor events goes up to 400 people, while outside this is 1,000 at standing events and 2,000 at seated or open space events.

However, this roadmap for Scotland doesn’t completely align with Boris Johnson’s plan for England.

The Prime Minister has said he hopes that all legal restrictions on social distancing will end on 21 June, which, if “Freedom Day” is permitted to go ahead, would see nightclubs and the last sectors of the economy reopen.

But in Scotland, night-time venues and adult entertainment venues will remain closed even in Level 0 except for use in “limited circumstances”.

And people will still be asked to work from home where they can, although there will be a limited phased return to offices.

The Scottish Government has not confirmed whether it has a similar timeline to the UK Government’s, but Sturgeon has said that she hopes a further easing of restrictions will take place later in summer as the number of vaccinated people increases.

All plans are subject to review and rely on the continued suppression of the virus and the success of the vaccinations rollout.