Nicola Sturgeon announcement RECAP: First Minister confirms delay to easing of Covid-19 restrictions | Scottish Government plans to move out of lockdown on August 9 if possible
Latest updates on the Covid-19 crisis from Scotland and around the world.
Scroll down to see the latest news on the pandemic on Tuesday, June 22.
Covid Scotland LIVE: Latest updates on Tuesday, June 22
Last updated: Tuesday, 22 June, 2021, 15:30
- Scotland will move to Level 0 on July 19
- 'No part of the country will change level next week'
- Scotland records 4 new covid deaths and 2,167 new cases
- Highest daily figure since January 8, according to statistics
Scottish Government plans to lift all major coronavirus restrictions by August 9
The Scottish Government plans to move out of Covid-19 restrictions on August 9 if possible, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.
Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, she said changes to current restriction levels in Scotland will be postponed until July 19.
The First Minister said on that date it is hoped all of Scotland can move to the lowest level of restrictions, Level 0, three weeks later than initially planned on June 28.
She said increasing case numbers are behind the delay, after 2,167 cases were recorded in Scotland in the past 24 hours – the highest daily figure since January 8.
However, she set out a series of vaccination milestones and said if these and other criteria are met the majority of restrictions could be lifted by August 9.
She said: “Our assessment – on balance and assuming we meet the necessary conditions on vaccination and harm reduction – is that it would be possible and proportionate to lift the major remaining legal restrictions on 9 August.
“We will consider and make a final assessment nearer the time of whether – as we hope – this could include the lifting of the legal requirement to physically distance indoors as well as outdoors.”
More detail on changes to weddings and funerals from next week, says Ms Sturgeon
The Scottish Government will not immediately recommend a return to office working when all restrictions are lifted, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
The First Minister told MSPs Government would work with business as Scotland enters Level 0 – planned for July 19 – to devise a phased plan for the return of staff to offices.
She said: “While recognising that a return to the workplace will be right for many, we will encourage continued support for home working where it is possible and appropriate.
“This won’t just assist with control of the virus, it will also help promote well-being more generally.
“However, I think many would agree that, as a general principle, home-working should be more possible post Covid than it was before.”
Scotland will move to Level 0 on July 19 as part of Scottish Government plans, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.
The First Minister said: “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 19 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 2 metres to 1 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.”
The Scottish Government is shifting how it handles the pandemic, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
In a new paper published today, the Scottish Government will announce that it will now look to “suppress the virus to a level consistent with alleviating its harms while we recover and rebuild for a better future”.
Previously, Government policy called for the suppression of the virus “to the lowest possible level”.
The First Minister said: “This change reflects the fact that vaccination is reducing – we hope significantly – the harm that the virus causes.
“Vaccination means it is now possible – indeed, necessary – to shift our strategic aim, and reduce the wider health, social and economic harms that strict ‘lockdown’ measures cause.”
All priority groups in Scotland will have been fully vaccinated by this Sunday, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
The First Minister told MSPs that everyone in the top nine priority groups set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) would mostly be covered with two jabs.
However, she did say that there may be some people in these groups who cannot make their appointments.
The nine groups, which include everyone over the age of 50, with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers, represent 99% of all Covid-19 deaths during the pandemic.
“The fact that virtually all of them will be fully vaccinated by the end of this week is hugely significant,” the First Minister said.
Coronavirus restrictions in Scotland will remain unchanged next week, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.
Under the Scottish Government’s plans, the country was meant to move to Level 0 from June 28.
However, the First Minister said in an update that restrictions would remain unchanged.
Sturgeon: “The news on vaccination continues to be positive but this has to be balanced against the continued rise in cases.
“The number of new cases recorded over the past week has increased by almost 40% on the week before.”