When will Nicola Sturgeon speak at First Minister’s Questions and will she tighten Christmas restrictions in Scotland?

The First Minister is expected to set out the rules for socialising over Christmas in more detail this afternoon.

On Tuesday it was announced that Scots will be able to meet two other households over five days at Christmas, after an agreement between the heads of the devolved administrations.

Each administration is set to clarify their own rules on support bubbles in the coming days, with Nicola Sturgeon expected to set out the restrictions in Scotland in more detail this afternoon in the Scottish Parliament.

What was announced on Tuesday?

The First Minister is expected to set out the rules for socialising over Christmas in more detail this afternoon. (Photo by Jane Barlow - Pool/Getty Images)

At a Cobra meeting chaired by Tory minister Michael Gove, the first ministers of the devolved nations agreed that Brits would be able to see family members over the festive period.

Applying across the UK, this will include overnight stays and will last from December 23 to December 27.

Confirming the plans, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urged caution despite the relaxation of measures.

She said: “Just because you can mix with others indoors over this time, that doesn’t mean you have to.

“If you choose to stick with the rules as they are, then you will be continuing the hard work to beat this virus and prevent its spread.”

Visiting venues such as pubs or restaurants will not be allowed, but people will be able to hug family members and will not have to stick to social distancing within their bubble.

Ms Sturgeon ruled out similar relaxation of social distancing rules over Hogmanay.

When will Nicola Sturgeon speak today?

The First Minister is set to speak in the chamber at Holyrood at 12:20pm today - though her speech may face delays if the preceding parliamentary business overruns.

After her address, Conservative Ruth Davidson will be given the opportunity to question Ms Sturgeon, followed by questions from Labour’s Richard Leonard and the other party leaders.

You can follow all of today’s key developments and watch The Scotsman’s live stream of FMQs here.

What will Nicola Sturgeon say?

The First Minister has signalled that rules allowing people to meet up at Christmas in Scotland are likely to become more strict when they are set out this afternoon.

On Wednesday Ms Sturgeon warned: “The expectation should be that the guidance will probably look to tighten around the edges rather than further expand and that will be true with the travel window of opportunity as well – we want to limit that window, not expand it.”

She said that due to the current way bubbles are formed in England, “three households there, potentially, depending on how they draw the guidance, could effectively become six households”.

The First Minister added: “I think that would be going too far and it would not be something I would be comfortable with in Scotland.”

“If you can get through this Christmas staying in your own home, within your own household, please do so,” she said.

“I want to stress today that just because we’re allowing people to form a bubble (that) does not mean that you have to do it,” Ms Sturgeon said.

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