Covid restrictions in Scotland: What are the next steps?

Nicola Sturgeon confirmed this week that the current Covid-19 restrictions in Scotland will remain in place until 19th July following a 40% increase in new cases last week.

Originally, the Scottish Government had planned for the entire nation to move to Level 0 from 28th June, but lockdown easing will now be paused for three weeks to allow more time for people to be vaccinated.

Mainland areas will not move into Level 0 until 19th July and Ms Sturgeon said it is hoped that the remaining restrictions will be lifted on 9th August, allowing for life in Scotland to return to “almost complete normality.”

People however will still be advised to work from home where possible and will still be required to wear face masks.

What Level is my area in?

There are currently 5 Covid-10 Protection Levels in place in Scotland (0-4).

For a list of rules for an area, visit the Scottish Government website.

What did Sturgeon say about next steps?

Ms Sturgeon said: “By 19th July, three weeks will have elapsed since the completion of the vaccination programme for over 50s, which means that the vaccine will be giving everyone in that age group a significant level of protection.

“Therefore, assuming we are meeting the revised strategic aim, we hope that all parts of Scotland, not currently in that level, can move to Level 0 on 19th July.

“That means, for example, that the limits for household gatherings indoors will increase from that date, and up to 200 people will be able to attend weddings and funerals.

“We also hope – assuming the data supports this – that the general indoor physical distancing requirement can be reduced from two metres to one metre.

“And we hope, from that date, to lift the outdoor requirement to physically distance.

“In addition – in recognition of the reduced risk of outdoor transmission and therefore the desire to encourage people to stay outdoors as much as possible – we hope that limits on informal outdoor social gatherings, in private gardens for example, will also be removed at this stage.

“So rather than the current rules for Level 0 – which state that up to 15 people from 15 households can meet outdoors – informal social gatherings of any size will be allowed.

“We will however keep in place temporarily the rules and processes currently applicable at level 0 for organised outdoor events, given that these can attract much larger crowds.”

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