Plans for social distancing and life “beyond level 0” are being published today, as the First Minister makes the latest statement at Holyrood on covid restrictions in Scotland.
Nicola Sturgeon had been hoping to put the whole country at the lowest set of rules but has already been forced to rule that out because of stubbornly high infections.
The original plan was to drop to Level 0 on June 28 but an extra three weeks were added to allow for more vaccinations.
Despite the delay, a report was still being prepared for the next steps out of lockdown rules.
“This is important because while we have had to pause the route-map, we do still hope that vaccination will allow us over this summer to move beyond level 0 and back to a much greater degree of normality,” Ms Sturgeon said at the last briefing.
Review of social distancing
A second report will be published today on physical distancing. It took longer than expected because of the impact of the Delta variant first identified in India.
“I know how important this is for many businesses, in hospitality certainly, but also for theatres and cinemas and the arts more generally, as they all consider how they can operate sustainably over the medium to long term,” Ms Sturgeon added.
Meanwhile, the SNP leader has been caught up in a row with Manchester mayor Andy Burnham over additional travel rules brought in because of the continued spread.
On Friday, Ms Sturgeon said that all non-essential travel from Manchester and Salford would be banned due to rising coronavirus cases.
This prompted anger from Mr Burnham at the weekend, who said the move was disproportionate and should have been communicated first to his administration.
On Monday, Ms Sturgeon insisted they were relevant health measures – despite complaints the level of infection was no worse than it is in Dundee.
“I’ve always got on well with Andy Burnham and if he wants to have a grown-up conversation he only has to pick up the phone,” she said.
“But if, as I suspect might be the case, this is more about generating a spat with me as part of some positioning in a Labour leadership contest in future, then I’m not interested.
“We’ve all got a serious job of work to do right now and I’m serious about doing that job in a way that keeps Scotland as safe as I possibly can.”
The cross-border spat will also be raised at Holyrood today in a question to the Scottish Government lodged by Tory MSP Graham Simpson.
Earlier, Deputy First Minister John Swinney defended the decision to impose a travel ban.
Mr Swinney also said Mr Burnham’s call for compensation is not “a relevant point”.
But Mr Burnham responded: “I find that insulting, not for me, but for people here who are directly affected by what she announced.
“It’s not just the direct impact on Greater Manchester, it’s on our reputation as a city.
“If the First Minister of a country stands up at a press conference and announces that the UK’s second city is going under a travel ban, it has an impact.
“People elsewhere in Europe, around the world, hear that. So it’s not like it’s just a sort of more localised thing between us and Scotland, it has an impact on our city region.
“I don’t think we’ve been treated with the respect we deserve and I’m talking mainly there of the people of Greater Manchester, not myself.”
He continued: “It’s had an impact with people with holiday cottages booked, people who are having to go for work reasons.
“So to suggest, as the First Minister has done today, ‘Oh, this is all about politics and posturing’, well say that to them, say that to those people.
“Why is Bolton under a travel ban today, when it has a case rate that is quite a lot lower than Dundee? How is that fair?”
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman was also asked about the travel ban on Monday.
He said: “Health is a devolved matter. It is for the Scottish Government to explain that decision.”