Nicola Sturgeon update: when is FM making Scotland Covid announcement today - and will country move to Level 1?

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The First Minister is due to give an update to the Scottish Parliament on whether there will be a change to the country’s roadmap out of lockdown

Nicola Sturgeon is set to announce whether Scotland’s coronavirus restrictions can be eased further on Tuesday (1 June).

The country will find out whether a move to lockdown Level 1 will take place this month, as the roadmap out of lockdown continues to be followed.

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Those living in Glasgow will be paying particular attention to her announcement, as the city is the only part of Scotland still under Level 3 lockdown rules, prohibiting non-essential travel out of the area and imposing greater restrictions on socialising, hospitality and businesses.

Nicola Sturgeon announced at her last Covid update that Glasgow would remain in Level 3 (Photo: Getty Images)Nicola Sturgeon announced at her last Covid update that Glasgow would remain in Level 3 (Photo: Getty Images)
Nicola Sturgeon announced at her last Covid update that Glasgow would remain in Level 3 (Photo: Getty Images)

The city has remained in Level 3 amid high case rates thought to be caused by the variant first identified in India.

So, when is Ms Sturgeon’s Covid update today - and what might she announce?

Here is everything you need to know.

What time is Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement?

The First Minister will address MSPs in Holyrood on Tuesday 1 June.

She is poised to speak at shortly after 2:15pm.

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The briefing can be viewed live on BBC Scotland – which you can find online along with BBC News on the iPlayer – while it can also be watched via Scottish Parliament TV.

Ms Sturgeon's last major coronavirus update took place on Friday 28 May, when the decision to keep Glasgow in Level 3 for a further week was announced.

However, she said the city could potentially move to Level 2 restrictions from Saturday 5 June due to stabilising case rates and if the virus remains under control.

The rest of mainland Scotland is in Level 2, where people can hug and meet indoors – subject to restrictions – travel across the UK and overseas, and hospitality venues can open later than in Level 3 and serve alcohol indoors.

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What could the First Minister say today?

Ms Sturgeon is expected to announce whether most of mainland Scotland will move into Level 1 today as the country continues to gradually unlock.

If confirmed, this major change could take place on 7 June to allow a greater return to normality.

A decision on whether Glasgow will move into Level 2 this weekend was expected by Wednesday (2 June) at the latest, so it is unknown whether a change to the city’s lockdown level will be announced today.

However, on Monday (31 June) Health Secretary Humza Yousaf warned that some areas of Scotland would remain in Level 2 as the government aims to combat increasing cases in some parts of the country.

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Speaking to the BBC, he said: “It may not be the entire country moving to Level One.

"I think people would understand where there are still rising case numbers... then it may be that parts of the country would move to Level 1, but in other parts of the country we decide to keep in Level 2."

Under Level 1 rules, up to six people from three households can socialise indoors, whereas eight people from three households will be able to meet up in cafes, pubs, restaurants and other indoor public places.

The curfew on indoor hospitality will also change to 11pm for both food and alcohol.

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Children under-12 will not count towards the total numbers for indoor gatherings but will be included for the household limit.

And outdoors, up to 12 adults from 12 households will be able to meet. However, social distancing between households will be in place unless the review into physical distancing requirements changes this.

Small indoor events with seating will also be allowed with a maximum of 200 people, while the capacity at outdoor standing events will increase to 500. Up to 1,000 people will be permitted at outdoor seated, or open space, events.

It will be good news for those getting married, as the number of guests allowed at weddings will rise to 100 which is double the previous number.

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Soft play areas and funfairs will finally be able to reopen after months of closures on this date.

And a recent development is permission has been granted for 12,000 fans (25% capacity) to watch Scotland’s Euro 2020 football matches at Hampden.

But not all restrictions might ease as people will still be instructed to work from home where possible, while nightclubs and adult entertainment venues will remain shut.

What could happen after that?

If there is no surge in Covid cases after the move to Level 1, Scotland may move to the lowest level of restrictions - Level 0 - on 28 June.

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This is described as “nearly normal”, with 10 adults from four households able to meet in cafes and pubs, while 15 adults from 15 households can meet outdoors.

Ceremonies, like weddings and funerals, would be able to be attended by 200 people.

And the capacity for seated indoor events would go up to 400 people, while outside this would be 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.

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The Prime Minister has said he hopes that all legal restrictions on social distancing will end on 21 June, which 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.

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