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Nicola Sturgeon expected to delay easing of lockdown restrictions until mid-July in Covid briefing

Nicola Sturgeon in the Scottish Parliament
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to announce a delay to a nationwide move to Level 0 during her Covid briefing today.

Nicola Sturgeon is expected to delay further easing of lockdown restrictions following a rise in Covid infections across Scotland.

The First Minister said last week that further relaxation of Covid restrictions was unlikely due to the increasing threat of the Delta variant first identified in India.

It puts original plans to drop to Level 0, the lowest in the five-tier system, on Monday on the back burner.

Last Tuesday, Ms Sturgeon indicated that restrictions could remain in place until mid-July to facilitate the further roll-out of vaccinations.

She said: “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 is now preparing to address Holyrood today on the country’s amended route out of lockdown restrictions.

A second report reviewing social distancing is also due to be published today.

Scotland’s Covid-19 levels

Residents in Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles have already been been living under Level 0, following a change in restrictions earlier this month.

Areas of Mainland Scotland remain under Level 1 and 2, depending on the number of Covid cases in the area.

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray and Highlands is at level 1. Meanwhile, Dundee remains at Level 2 following concerns over coronavirus infections in the area.

Under Level 0 restrictions, individuals are permitted to meet socially in groups of up to eight people from four households in your own home or theirs.

It is also possible to meet with up to 10 people from four households in a cafe, pub or restaurant and with up to 15 people from 15 households outdoors.

Where can you watch the briefing?

Viewers can tune into the latest Covid briefing from 2.15pm.

The briefing can be watched on BBC Scotland or the Scottish Government’s Twitter page or follow our live blog from 1.30pm.

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