What time is Nicola Sturgeon's statement on easing lockdown in Scotland today? When is the First Minister's coronavirus briefing on Thursday and where can you watch it?

The First Minister is expected to announce "cautious" steps out of lockdown for Scotland today.

Nicola Sturgeon will reveal today whether Scotland can move on to the first phase of a four-part plan for easing the restrictions - more than nine weeks after they were first introduced.

What time is Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement?

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The First Minister will make her statement on easing the lockdown at her daily press briefing. This usually takes place at 12:30pm.

The First Minister is expected to announce "cautious" steps out of lockdown for Scotland today. (Photo by Jane Barlow-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

What is the First Minister expected to say?

Earlier this week Ms Sturgeon said she was “very optimistic” that Scotland would be able to leave lockdown, suggesting that she is confident Scotland’s coronavirus outbreak is now under control.

If so, the First Minister could announce that people are permitted to meet up with friends or relatives from other households - one household at a time - and take part in some non-contact sports such as golf, angling and outdoor swimming.

Garden centres, drive-through restaurants and recycling centres could also get the green light to reopen.

The changes could come into effect from Friday but Ms Sturgeon has already warned not all the measures in phase one of her plan will necessarily be introduced immediately.

It comes after the number of people dying with Covid-19 fell for the fourth week in a row, with National Records of Scotland revealing there were 230 deaths linked to the virus registered between May 18 and 24.

Ms Sturgeon said: "These trends, which have now been sustained for over four weeks, do definitely give us grounds for encouragement."

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What is the Test and Protect system?

The First Minister is also expected to unveil Scotland's new Test and Protect system, which also comes into force across the country today.

The contact tracing system will "operate at a scale not seen before in Scotland" Ms Sturgeon said, as part of efforts to continue to suppress the spread of the virus.

Under the new system, Scots will be expected to be tested for Covid-19 if they show symptoms of the disease - and if they test positive they will be asked to supply details of anyone they could have passed it on to.

Those people will then be contacted by the team of tracers and asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

Speaking on Tuesday, the First Minister said introducing the system at the "same time as we take the first very cautious steps out of lockdown gives us the opportunity to address any operational issues ahead of a potentially more substantial easing of restrictions".

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