Scotland Covid levels: what will the new lockdown levels include - and what dates will the changes take place?

Jason Leitch has said the country is still on course to move into coronavirus lockdown Level 3 from the end of April

Scotland is still on course to move to Level 3 at the end of April despite a spike in coronavirus cases, Professor Jason Leitch has said.

The National Clinical Director insisted the country would still move back into a local levels system as planned when lockdown restrictions are lifted.

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"There'll be more openings the Easter weekend, we've described them already. Our plan is to move the whole mainland down to Level 3," he told Clyde 1 News on Monday .

It is hoped that mainland Scotland will move from Level 4 to Level 3 at the end of April (Getty Images)

As part of her roadmap out of lockdown announcement in February, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she expected all of Scotland to move into a “modified” levels system from 26 April - although this change is reliant on positive data and trends.

At that stage, mainland areas could move from Level 4 to Level 3 while the island communities that are already in Level 3 will have the option to move into Level 2, but Ms Sturgeon said there would be further discussions about what that means for travel.

So what will Scotland’s new Covid levels include?

Here is everything you need to know.

Level 4

This is the level mainland Scotland has been under since Boxing Day last year.

Full lockdown restrictions were then introduced on 4 January 2021 by Nicola Sturgeon - essentially a tightening of the Level 4 measures already in place.

The current Level 4 rules include a “stay at home” order, with people unable to leave the house unless for an essential purpose, and non-essential retail and hospitality venues are also closed.

But this level has been amended recently following progress in suppressing the virus.

Among the changes, up to four adults from two households are now able to meet locally outside, including in private gardens.

Young people aged 12 to 17 are also able to meet outdoors in groups of four people from four different households.

Outdoor non-contact sports and group exercise has also resumed for adults and 12 to 17 year olds in groups of up to 15.

And on Friday 26 March, the government intends to reopen places of worship for up to 50 people with social distancing.

Then from 5 April, after “stay at home” changes to “stay local” three days before, a phased reopening of non-essential retail is planned, including click and collect services, homeware stores and garden centres.

Hairdressers and barber salons will also open from then.

Level 3

Mainland Scotland is expected to move into a “modified” Level 3 from 26 April.

It is hoped that travel restrictions will be lifted entirely on the mainland on this date, which could include travel to the rest of the UK.

This would see the reopening of hospitality venues, like cafes, pubs and restaurants. They will be permitted to open until 8pm indoors with no alcohol and 10pm outdoors with alcohol.

Up to four people from two households will be able to socialise indoors in a public place, while up to six people from three households will be able to socialise outdoors.

All remaining retail premises will reopen, along with gyms for individual exercise.

Indoor attractions and public buildings like galleries, museums and libraries will also open.

The limit on weddings and funerals will also be upped to 50.

Level 2

The government is hoping that mainland Scotland will then move down to Level 2 from 17 May, depending on continued suppression of the virus.

Under this level, hospitality venues will open until 10:30pm indoors with alcohol permitted, and 10:00pm outdoors with alcohol permitted.

Up to four people from two households will be able to socialise indoors in a private home or public space.

Outdoor adult contact sport and indoor group exercise will restart.

Indoor entertainment venues, like cinemas, amusement arcades and bingo halls will also reopen.

And small outdoor and indoor events may be able to resume, subject to capacity limits.

Level 1

From early June, there are plans for all of Scotland to move to Level 1.

In this level, up to six people from three households may be able to socialise indoors in a home or public place.

Up to eight people from three households could meet up outdoors, and eight 12 to 17 year olds could meet from eight households outdoors.

Hospitality venues could also be allowed to remain open until 11pm, while indoor non-contact sport may take place.

And attendance at events could increase, subject to capacity constraints.

Level 0

Ms Sturgeon has called a move to this level a return to “nearly normal”.

It is hoped that, by the end of June, Scotland will move to at least Level 0.

This is the lowest of the local protection levels, and could see a phased return of some office staff among further easing of restrictions.

The government has said it will assess the coronavirus situation in Scotland on an ongoing basis, so more information about Level 0 will be announced nearer the time.