Scotland level 3: what are tier 3 restrictions in Scotland - and when will the country move to a level system?

Mainland Scotland will return to tiered restrictions on April 26

The first minister has confirmed that all of mainland Scotland will move to tier 3 restrictions on April 26.

Nicola Sturgeon set out Scotland’s route map out of lockdown on 23 February, earmarking dates for when parts of society may reopen.

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Addressing the Scottish Parliament, the First Minister confirmed that if all goes according to plan, the country will move back to a levels system from the last week in April.

More than half of Scotland's population is set to be placed under tier-three restrictions (Getty Images)

At this stage, all parts of the country currently in level 4 - which includes the whole of mainland Scotland - will be able to move initially to level three, before making their way through tiers 2, 1 and 0.

Why is Scotland returning to a levels system?

According to Sturgeon, the advantage of the levels system is that it allows the government to open up parts of the country that have lower infection rates first.

She said this will depend on the vaccination programme going as planned.

Sturgeon said: “The advantages of the levels system is that it will allow us to let some parts of the country move faster than others, if the data supports that.

“Moving back to the variable levels system at that time will also be contingent on us having vaccinated all JCVI priority groups 1-9 which we hope to have done by mid April.

“That matters not only because those groups will be more protected but also because we believe that vaccinating around half of the population will have a significant effect on reducing transmission across society as a whole.

“And though we don’t yet know exactly how big an effect this will be, we hope it will give us the headroom to carefully ease restrictions.”

What are the level three rules?

Nicola Sturgeon has aid that Scotland will enter a “modified Level 3” on April 26.

Level three restrictions previously included the following:

Under level three restrictions no in-home socialising is permitted, while meetings in public and outdoor settings are restricted to groups of six from no more than two households.

The sale of alcohol is not permitted in indoor or outdoor hospitality settings, though the sale of food will be permitted. All hospitality settings are required to close at 6pm.

Takeaways permitted for alcohol and food “as per existing arrangements”.

Level three restrictions do not permit non-essential travel into or out of the level 3 area with exemptions for “work, education, shopping health etc; outdoor exercise; weddings and funerals; and transit through restricted areas”.

Active travel (walk, run, cycle, wheel) is encouraged where possible, while car sharing is advised against along with non-essential use of public transport.

Public services and support services are both permitted to operate, but are encouraged to operate online where possible.

Close contact services such as hairdressers and barbers will be allowed to operate in level three but may be subject to additional protective measures. Mobile close contact services are not permitted.

Weddings, and civil partnerships and funerals are all subject to 20 person limits.

Indoor individual exercise is permitted, while all outdoor exercise, apart for adult contact, is permitted.