Nicola Sturgeon Covid update RECAP: First Minister confirms move to level 0 | Four deaths and 2,529 cases in 24 hours | Covid pressure on NHS is 'of concern'

Nicola Sturgeon has announced that Scotland will proceed to level 0 next week, but with some modifications to the original plan.

You can follow all the updates from the First Minister’s briefing, as well as all the day’s other coronavirus news, here.

Scroll down for the latest updates.

Covid Scotland RECAP: The latest updates on the pandemic on Tuesday, July 13

Key Events

  • Scotland will move to level 0 from next week - but with slight modifications, FM says
  • ‘Long covid is still a risk to everyone’
  • Covid cases remaining high is ‘of concern’ to the Scottish Government
  • Four new deaths and 2,529 new cases have been reported in the last 24 hours

Sturgeon to announce whether coronavirus restrictions will be eased

Nicola Sturgeon is set to announce whether Scotland’s coronavirus restrictions can be eased as planned on Monday.

The First Minister has said she hopes to move the whole country to Level 0 from July 19, depending on the latest case numbers, hospital admissions and the vaccination rollout.

Level 0 would reduce the two-metre distancing rule to one metre in indoor public spaces.

Indoor gathering restrictions would be further lifted to allow up to eight people from up to three households to meet.

The 11pm closure time for pubs operating indoors will also be scrapped, with local licensing conditions applying instead.

But nightclubs and adult entertainment will have to remain shut.

July 19 is expected to be the date when all Scottish adults will have been offered their first vaccine dose as well as being three weeks on from over-50s being double jabbed.

The Scottish Parliament has been recalled from the summer recess for Ms Sturgeon’s announcement.

Climate change should be treated as emergency like Covid pandemic – study

Climate change should be treated as an emergency in the same way as the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new study.

The report also recommends that governments should keep keep the public informed about climate emergencies in the same way they have with data during the pandemic, with real-time reporting about loss of life and the damage caused by the impact of adverse weather.

Led by the Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) Centre for Climate Justice, the study focused on the experiences of policymakers in parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

A common concern reported in the research was a fear that resources channelled towards the pandemic response would detract from resources previously allocated to climate action, or that there would be a “downright reduction” of financial commitments.

The study recommends that industrialised nations must be encouraged to commit higher levels of financial support and technology transfer to the developing world.

Researchers also looked at how the pandemic has affected the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), national plans for climate action submitted by countries under the Paris Agreement in 2015.

The research consortium included the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) and academic partners in Africa.

Doctors’ leaders criticise Johnson’s ‘irresponsible’ lockdown lifting

Doctors’ leaders have condemned Boris Johnson’s “irresponsible” decision to press ahead with lockdown lifting in England despite Covid-19 infections continuing to surge.

The British Medical Association (BMA) warned of “potentially devastating consequences” after the Prime Minister confirmed on Monday that most mandatory restrictions will end next week.

At a Downing Street news conference, Mr Johnson acknowledged the pandemic “is not over” and appealed to people to proceed with caution.

At the same time, he said postponing the easing of restrictions into the autumn would risk reopening at a time when schools are back from their summer holidays and people are spending more time indoors as the weather turns cold.

However Dr Chaand Nagpaul, the BMA council chair, said that by going ahead on July 19, the Government was reneging on its promise to be led by the data and the impact on the NHS.

He said scrapping restrictions while a significant proportion of the population was still not fully vaccinated, would allow the virus to “retighten its grip”, driving up infections and hospitalisations and putting more lives at risk.

“It’s irresponsible – and frankly perilous – that the Government has decided to press ahead with plans to lift the remaining Covid-19 restrictions on July 19,” he said.

WHO says ‘too early to be talking about massive relaxation'

A World Health Organisation special envoy on Covid-19 has said it is “too early to be talking about massive relaxation or freedom” despite the UK’s rollout of vaccines.

Dr David Nabarro told Radio 4’s Today programme the “pandemic is advancing ferociously around the world” and that “I don’t think we’ve anywhere near got through the worst of it”.

Asked about the Government’s switch to personal responsibility, he said: “All this doesn’t quite fit with the position that was taken by Britain, along with other nations, some months ago when there was a real effort to try to prevent large numbers of people getting the disease, partly because of the risk of death and partly because of the recognition of the risk of long Covid.

“It’s necessary to be unequivocal on this particular challenge. What does urging caution mean? It’s important that everybody knows the best possible advice on how to prevent themselves being infected.

“I accept that vaccination has changed the nature of the equation in the UK but quite honestly from any point of view it’s too early to be talking about massive relaxation or freedom when the outbreak curve is on such a sharp ascent.

“Yes, relax, but don’t have these mixed messages about what’s going on. This dangerous virus hasn’t gone away, it’s variants are coming back and are threatening those who have already been vaccinated – we have to take it seriously.”

Call for more education on mask wearing

Professor John Drury called for more education for the public on mask-wearing and risk after Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that most mandatory coronavirus restrictions would end next week.

The social psychologist at the University of Sussex and member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours (Spi-B) told LBC: “The Government talks about the word ‘advisory’, but at the very least, there needs to be a concerted programme of public engagement, I mean we don’t really see that.

“Where is the communication, the dialogue, the education?

“They need to explain and talk to people about how masks work, that they work, that they are one of the most important mitigations that may protect others.”

He added: “The point about personal responsibility is interesting – it’s always been the case that personal responsibility has been stressed, but there was a publication from Spi-B recently that said that needs to be backed up with capacity.

“You need to support people with education: How can they make risk assessments? Do they know the different risks indoors and outdoors?

“And where is that to backup that personal responsibility?”

Sage member Professor Graham Medley said that between 1-2,000 hospital admissions a day are “likely” due to a wave in coronavirus infections as restrictions ease.

UK unlikely to see a return to lockdowns – Sage scientist

The UK is unlikely to see a return to lockdowns and school suspensions even though winter will be “rough”, a Government scientific adviser has suggested.

Calum Semple, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) and professor of child health and outbreak medicine at the University of Liverpool, said he thought measures such as mask-wearing could be reintroduced over the winter to deal with a spike in Covid cases.

It comes as a fellow Sage member, Professor Graham Medley, said mask-wearing “probably won’t do any good” unless it is mandatory, adding that the current Covid wave could last six weeks at its peak.

Speaking in a personal capacity, Professor Semple said the “winter bump” of Covid cases would be “miserable” due to a mixture of Covid-19 and the respiratory viruses that have not been seen for the last year as people stayed at home.

Asked on BBC Breakfast whether restrictions would come back, he said: “Possibly, and it may just be about reinforcing some common sense.

“It may be bringing back some mask-wearing in certain environments, but I don’t foresee the lockdowns or the school suspensions that we’ve seen.”



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