Here's when lockdown could end in Scotland - according to latest government advice

Scotland announced a second lockdown in early January (Getty Images)Scotland announced a second lockdown in early January (Getty Images)
Scotland announced a second lockdown in early January (Getty Images)

The new restrictions has seen Scots encouraged to work from home where possible, and to stay at home, with outdoor gatherings also limited. Primary school and secondary school education is to be taught remotely with limited exceptions.

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Addressing the nation, Ms Sturgeon said she was "more concerned about the situation we face now than I have been at any time since March last year", citing the increasing prevalance of a new more infectious strain of the coronavirus.

She said that the "steeply rising trend of infections" could see Scotland’s NHS services at capacity within three to four weeks”.

But how long could Scotland be placed under strict lockdown restrictions?

When does the new lockdown period start in Scotland? 

The restrictions came into force at midnight on the morning of January 5.

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How long will the restrictions be in place? 

The official Scottish Government website states that restrictions will be in place for at least four weeks.

On January 19 the First Minister extended the lockdown, announcing that measures would be in place until at least the middle of February. Addressing Holyrood, the First Minister said that lockdown restrictions were working.

She said: “we need to be realistic that any improvement we are seeing is down, at this stage, to the fact that we are staying at home and reducing our interactions.

"Any relaxation of lockdown while case numbers, even though they might be declining, nevertheless remain very high, could quickly send the situation into reverse."

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When will schools return? 

Ms Sturgeon announced that her government were aiming to begin the phased return of schools in mid-February.

She said: “It is of course a priority for all of us to get children back to normal schooling as soon as possible.

“I know how much work teachers, school leaders and other staff are doing to support home learning and I am very grateful to them for that.

“But I also know just how challenging and stressful this situation is for families.

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“And above all, I understand how difficult, distressing and damaging it is for children and young people to have their education and their normal interactions with friends so disrupted.”

Ms Sturgeon added: “I can say this today: if it is at all possible, as I very much hope it will be, to begin even a phased return to in-school learning in mid-February, we will.

“But I also have to be straight with families and say that it is simply too early to be sure about whether and to what extent this will be possible.”