Humza Yousaf told BBC’s Good Morning Scotland that he is ‘confident’ Scotland will be able to keep its ‘freedom day’ of August 9 based on recent vaccination figures and coronavirus data in Scotland.
Speaking on GMS, Mr Yousaf said: “I would be confident at this stage that we are able to move towards the target date of August 9.
“The First Minister is going to update Parliament on August 3 and I wouldn’t want to pre-empt it but we are still confident of being able to move forward.”
His comment comes after the Scottish Government set Monday July 26 as the day when all over 40s will be fully vaccinated in Scotland.
So far, 91% of over 40s have been fully vaccinated across Scotland with 76% of people in the 40-49 category fully vaccinated.
Mr Yousaf noted that it was important to remember that the vaccination process is non-mandatory and therefore these figures are ‘an astounding achievement.’
Asked whether the obligation to self-isolate will go on August 9, Mr Yousaf said: “That is the current plan and we are working towards that.
“I wouldn’t want to pre-empt anything the First Minister says in her statement on August 3 but at the moment there is a very narrow exemption for close contacts who are double vaccinated.
“What we’d like to do is broaden that.
"Our case numbers in Scotland are decreasing – still too high but going in absolutely the right direction.”