Nicola Sturgeon: Three tier 'risk' system to come to Scotland as England's imminent announcement likely to give 'direction of travel'

A tiered system of restrictions will be introduced in Scotland once the current temporary restrictions around bars, pubs and restaurants are lifted in a couple of weeks, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Glasgow west end bars, pubs and restaurants protest new closure measures
Glasgow west end bars, pubs and restaurants protest new closure measures

The First Minister said that the system, which will align with England and the other four nations “as closely as possible”, will be set out in more detail in coming weeks and put in front of the Scottish Parliament.

She added that the announcement from the prime minister Boris Johnson of a similar system in England would provide Scots with a general “direction of travel” for Scotland.

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New restrictions, including the potential closure of pubs and restaurants in a similar move to that made by the Scottish Government, are set to be announced later today by the UK Government.

Nicola Sturgeon has said English restrictions due to be announced will give Scots an idea of the "direction of travel" for Scotland

Ms Sturgeon said she did not want to go “too much further" into the specifics of what the Scottish Government is planning ahead of it being finalised, but said the system would give people a “greater sense of clarity”.

The First Minister told her daily coronavirus briefing that she had been briefed by the UK Government during a Cobra meeting with all four nations about their planned three tier system of alerts for different parts of England.

She said that while she had seen the detail of the proposal this morning and will look at the details closely the Scottish Government intend to develop their own “tiering framework” and present it to Holyrood for a vote shortly after the end of the October recess.

Ms Sturgeon added that at a “strategic level”, the Scottish Government will be “looking to align” closely with the UK Government’s system, but said operational decisions about which tiers might apply in different areas would be made by the devolved powers.

The First Minster also said that the tiers in Scotland are likely to have differences depending on which area of Scotland they would apply to and would allow for consultation between national and local government.

She added that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Lothian, NHS Forth Valley, NHS Ayrshire and Arran and NHS Lanarkshire would be considered to sit in tier three of the new system when it comes into place.

Ms Sturgeon cautioned against viewing the English rules as likely to be copied exactly by the Scottish Government, but said it would not be “unreasonable” to view them as a “direction of travel”.

The First Minister said: "It may not be identical to what is published in England today but in that strategic sense we are keen if we can to align so when you see what is published in England today, it will give you an idea of the sort of things we are talking about.

"I would caution against looking at the English proposals and assuming it will absolutely identical because we only saw that this morning and we want to work through that properly.

"While the operational decisions will be ours there will be a merit across the UK in trying to have as much alignment on a strategic level as possible so equally it is not unreasonable to look at that as a possible direction of travel we are likely to go in as well.

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