LiveCoronavirus in Scotland LIVE: Nicola Sturgeon has said that Covid-19 is firmly in retreat

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Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that Scotland will enter phase two of lockdown easing.

Announcing the changes in a statement at the Scottish Parliament, the First Minister said there has been "clear and sustained" progress in tackling the virus.

"Though we are moving to phase two today, we are still being cautious and we are not going to do everything at once," she said.

Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE: Follow here for updates

"We will take a staged approach to avoid bearing all of the risk at the same time."

People in Scotland will now be able to form ‘extended households’ and shielded people will now be able to go outside for exercise.

Shops with outdoor entrances will be allowed to open, although the hospitality sector will remain closed.

Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE: Latest updates on COVID-19 in Scotland

Last updated: Friday, 19 June, 2020, 07:56

  • Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that Scotland will enter phase two of lockdown
  • People living alone are now able to form an “extended household” with others
  • The opening of hospitality businesses has been delayed

South Asian people at highest risk of dying from Covid-19 claims study

South Asian people are at highest risk of dying from Covid-19 after being admitted to UK hospitals, even when factors such as obesity are taken into account, the biggest study of its kind has found.

Data from 30,693 people admitted to 260 hospitals found a 19% increased risk of death with coronavirus for those who were South Asian compared with white people.

Experts behind the study said 40% of the South Asians in the group had diabetes - which was a "significant factor" in their increased risk of death.

Professor Ewen Harrison, from the University of Edinburgh, who led the study, told the PA news agency that the increased risk of death was not due to obesity, which is linked to many cases of Type 2 diabetes.

"South Asian people, in fact, on average, have a lower weight compared with the white group," he said.

He said that, of the increased risk of death between South Asians and whites, a fifth may be explained by diabetes.

The paper showed that, overall, those who were South Asian were a fifth more likely to die with coronavirus, while those who were black appeared no more likely to die, and other ethnic minorities had no higher risk compared with white people.

Nicola Sturgeon announces review of Scots 2-metre distancing rule as lockdown eased

The First Minister revealed she has sought fresh scientific advice on the issue and will receive a report ahead the planned restart of the country's tourism industry in mid-July.

The move was welcomed by business leaders who say the measure must be relaxed for many hospitality firms and shops to remain viable.

Face coverings will be mandatory on Scottish public transport from Monday

The First Minister told MSPs today: “We have decided that from Monday face coverings will be mandatory on all public transport.

“That includes taxis and private hire cabs, as well as buses, trains, the Glasgow Subway, Edinburgh Trams, planes, and enclosed areas on ferries

“This will be subject to some exemptions – for example, for children under the age of five, people with breathing difficulties, and those who have physical conditions which make it hard to keep the mask in place.

What are the new Covid-19 lockdown measures in Scotland, and how do they differ from England?

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has described the next steps as “proportionate and cautious, but also significant,” reasoning that they will help to restart other areas of the faltering economy, while allowing people to see more of family and friends.

But some of the anticipated phase two changes detailed in the overall route map last month have not come to pass, while other measures have been brought in. The shift also highlights difference - and similarities - between the approaches of Scotland’s devolved administration, and that of the UK government.

So what is changing, and how closely aligned will Scotland and England be in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic while continuing on the road to recovery?

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