What time is Nicola Sturgeon's covid update today, how can I watch, will we find out if Scotland moves to level 0 and what five things is the First Minister considering to decide next steps?

The First Minister is due to give a briefing with the latest coronavirus update on Tuesday afternoon.

Nicola Sturgeon is due to announce today whether the latest easing of restrictions in Scotland will go ahead on June 28 – you can follow all the updates on the pandemic right here.

Scotland had been anticipated to drop down to Level 0 by the end of the month but with several areas – including Edinburgh and Glasgow – still in Level 2 restrictions it looks unlikely the entire nation will drop down to the lowest lockdown level.

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When will Nicola Sturgeon be speaking today?

Covid Scotland: When is Nicola Sturgeon speaking, what might she say and how can I watch?

Nicola Sturgeon will be addressing the Scottish Parliament shortly after 2pm on Tuesday.

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How can I watch Nicola Sturgeon’s update today?

A live stream will be available on Scottish Parliament TV here.

It will also be live on BBC Scotland.

What will Nicola Sturgeon say?

The First Minister will, as always, start with an update giving the number of positive cases reported, along with the latest number of hospitalisations.

She will also provide the latest data on vaccinations, which will also update on the Scottish Government website here.

It has already been suggested that there will be no change to the current Covid levels until the end of June, and given England’s recent announcement delaying ‘freedom day’, it is unlikely this will change.

The First Minister will likely provide clarification on this point.

The Delta variant will probably feature prominently given its prevalence across the UK.

Five pieces of data which will decide Scotland’s Covid future

Case rates:

A total of 6,211 new cases of coronavirus were recorded in Scotland in the seven days to June 10, according to Public Health Scotland.

This is the equivalent of 113.7 cases per 100,000 people – up from 88.4 one week earlier and the highest since February 7.

Scotland also has the highest rate among the four nations of the UK.

Hospital cases:

The number of Covid-19 hospital admissions and patients is increasing.

Some 158 patients with confirmed Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals in Scotland in the week ending June 8 – up from 137 in the previous week, and the highest since the week ending March 30.

A total of 128 people with recently confirmed Covid-19 were reported to be in hospital on June 14, up from 122 a week earlier.

The seven-day average for the number of patients in hospital currently stands at 127.

This is the highest since April 16.

Hospital activity remains well below the level seen at the height of the second wave, however.

Variants:

The Delta variant of Covid-19, which originated in India, is now the dominant form of coronavirus in Scotland, according to new findings from the University of Edinburgh’s Usher Institute.

Researchers analysed data from 5.4 million people for the period April 1 to June 6 and recorded 19,543 community cases and 377 admissions to hospital where a specific variant of Covid-19 was confirmed.

Of these totals, 7,723 cases and 134 hospital admissions were found to have the Delta variant, which is believed to be about 60% more transmissible than the previously dominant Alpha variant that was first identified in Kent in England at the end of last year.

While vaccines were found to reduce the risk of being admitted to hospital, strong protective effects against the Delta variant were not seen until at least 28 days after the first vaccine dose.

Vaccinations:

Some 3.5 million first doses of Covid-19 vaccine have now been delivered in Scotland – the equivalent of 79.3% of the adult population.

A further 2.4 million second doses have also been given, meaning 55.2% of people aged 18 and over are likely to be fully vaccinated.

Vaccine take-up varies among different age groups, however.

The latest available breakdown from Public Health Scotland, showing vaccinations up to June 13, shows 94.6% of people aged 80 and over have had both doses of vaccine – suggesting 5.4%, or around one in 20, are not yet fully vaccinated.

Some 98.6% of 75 to 79-year-olds are estimated to be fully vaccinated, along with 99.6% of people aged 70 to 74, 96.9% of people aged 65 to 69 and 95.9% of those aged 60 to 64.

But so far only 83.1% of 55 to 59-year-olds have had both doses, as well as 66.2% of 50 to 54-year-olds.

Infection levels:

The proportion of people testing positive for coronavirus in Scotland has increased slightly in recent weeks.

Around one in 540 people in private households in Scotland had Covid-19 in the week to June 5 – up from one in 680 in the previous week, according to estimates published on Friday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

It is the highest level since the week to April 10.

Additional Reporting by PA

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