Coronavirus in Scotland: Nicola Sturgeon to announce covid restriction easing today, when is she speaking, what will she say about meeting indoors, pubs and cinemas, how can you watch

Nicola Sturgeon is due to make an announcement today to update Scotland on the latest coronavirus restrictions and whether the next stage of easing will go ahead as planned.

It was expected that the First Minister was going to announce that all of Scotland would move into Level 2 from May 17, however a surge in cases in Moray has prompted NHS Grampian to say that it would be “wrong” to relax restrictions there along with the rest of the country next week.

Despite the situation in Moray, the figures in the rest of the country are more promising.

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The Covid-19 alert level in the UK was downgraded from level 3 to 4 yesterday after a “consistent” fall in cases, hospital admissions and deaths according to the four chief medical officers across the UK.

Ms Sturgeon met with clinical advisors on Monday and will update the country on the final decision later today.

What will we be allowed to do from May 17?

In Level 2 up to four people from two households can socialise indoors in a private home.

Restaurants, cafés, pubs and bars can open indoors until 22:30 with two hour pre-booked slots, and cinemas, theatres, comedy clubs, amusement arcades and bingo halls can open.

Nicola Sturgeon is due to make an announcement today to update Scotland on the latest coronavirus restrictions. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Up to six adults from three households are allowed to meet in an indoor public place like a café, pub or restaurant, and up to eight adults for eight households can meet outdoors.

Children under the age of 12 do not count towards the total group number in an outdoor setting, but they are included in the total number in an indoor setting.

Up to 50 people can attend weddings and funerals.

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All retailers can operate in Level 2, and all holiday accommodation such as hotels, self-catering accommodation and campsites, can also open.

Nicola Sturgeon is due to make an announcement today to update Scotland on the latest coronavirus restrictions. (Photo by Andy Buchanan / AFP)
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What will remain closed in Level 2?

There are a number of places which are not permitted to reopen in Level 2, including: soft play, funfairs, indoor bowling, snooker and pool halls and nightclubs.

What is happening in Moray?

NHS Grampian has said that Moray should not move to Level 2 restrictions with the rest of Scotland next week as the health board battles a Covid-19 outbreak which is expected to get worse in the coming days .

Jillian Evans, head of health intelligence at NHS Grampian, said it would be “wrong” to relax restrictions in Moray at this point.

Latest figures show coronavirus rates of 93 per 100,000 – in Moray significantly higher than the rate in the rest of the country – with cases expected to rise in the coming days as the impact of the previous easing of restrictions is felt.

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The localised outbreak has been attributed partly to very low levels of Covid-19 in Moray throughout the past year, leading to low immunity, and people not following rules because of a perception that the virus is no longer a significant risk.

When is the briefing and how can you watch?

The briefing will begin at 12.15pm and will be available to watch via the Scotsman live coronavirus blog and the Scottish government twitter feed.

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