Nicola Sturgeon lockdown announcement in full as FM sets out Scotland's timetable to 'normality'

Publication Date20 April 2021
AuthorGary Armstrong
Date20 April 2021
As was widely expected, from Monday, April 26, bars, pubs, restaurants, shops and gyms can reopen as part of Scotland returning to level 3 lockdown restrictions. This also means cross border travel between Scotland and England will be permitted and up to 50 people can now attend weddings or funerals.

During her announcement, the First Minister gave indicative dates for Scotland to ease out of the remaining lockdown restrictions and said it's the hope - if the virus can continue to be suppressed - that the country could be at level 0 lockdown by late June, providing for 'something much more like normality over summer':

* May 17 - Scotland will move to at least Level 2

* Early June - Scotland will move to Level 1

* Late June - Scotland moves down to Level 0

Nicola Sturgeon also touched on international travel and spoke of a desire for the Scottish Government to reach a UK-wide agreement on the best way forward from May 17.

Follow today's live blog for all the latest coronavirus and lockdown news

During her covid update from St Andrew's House in Edinburgh this lunchtime, The First Minister also advised of a further two deaths on account of coronavirus in Scotland and 178 positive covid-19 cases being recorded in the past 24 hours.

Nicola Sturgeon's lockdown announcement in full:

"As you probably know the main purpose of today's update is to indicate our final decision on the proposed changes, quite substantial proposed changes to the Covid rules that are due to take effect from Monday next week, Monday 26th April.

"These changes include the full reopening of retail services and the partial reopening of hospitality.

"Before I talk in a bit more detail about those though let me give you today's statistics.

"The total number of cases reported yesterday was 178.

"Which is 1.4% of the total number of tests, and it means that the overall number of confirmed cases now stands at 224,092.

"106 people are currently in hospital – which is 2 more than yesterday.

"And 13 people are in intensive care, that is 1 fewer than the number reported yesterday.

"Unfortunately 2 deaths were reported yesterday, and that takes the total number of deaths registered under this daily definition to 7,644.

"And yet again, I want to send my deepest condolences to everyone across the country who is grieving a loved one.

"Let me also give an update on the vaccination programme.

"As of 7.30 this morning, 2,750,052 people have received the first dose of the vaccine.

"That is an increase of 2,358 since yesterday.

"However, in addition, 40,152 people received a second dose yesterday, and the total number of second doses administered now is 797,267.

"We have now given a first dose of vaccine to more than 60% of the adult population.

"Last week, we effectively met the target of offering a first dose to all over 50 year olds; all unpaid carers and all adults with particular underlying health conditions. Now inevitably there will be some people in these categories who for one reason or another may not have had their invitation letter yet perhaps your address has been changed or your letter has gone missing. If that is the case remember you can phone your GP or phone the national helpline and you will find the details of that on our website.

"For the groups that have now been offered the first dose of vaccine which are the JCVI priority groups they account for 99% of all Covid deaths. The fact that a first dose has been offered to everyone in those groups – and that there has been such a high take-up of the vaccine so far – is a really important milestone, and that is one of the factors that is giving us the confidence to ease restrictions further.

"In the past seven days, we have also seen continued, welcome evidence, that case numbers are continuing to fall.

"Seven days ago, we were reporting 287 new cases every day on average. At...

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