Scotland lockdown: Nicola Sturgeon's announcement and all the covid rule changes in full

Publication Date11 May 2021
AuthorGary Armstrong
Nicola Sturgeon gave the update during the Scottish Government's covid-19 briefing this afternoon, confirming major changes for the hospitality sector, indoor and outdoor meetings, international travel and the return for much of the leisure sector.

Moray looks set to remain in Level 3 lockdown due to a spike in cases in that area, however, the Scottish Government considers the virus has been sufficiently suppressed in the rest of the mainland to implement more relaxed measures.

Physical distancing limits in private settings such as homes and gardens will also be scrapped, meaning Scots will be able to hug their loved ones once more from Monday.

The First Minister however urged caution as she confirmed the relaxation of lockdown rules, yet advised it is the hope the majority of mainland Scotland will move to Level 1 lockdown on Monday, June 7 and Level 0 on Monday, June 28.

Here's Nicola Sturgeon's lockdown speech in full:

"Due to the election campaign, the last time I stood here to give you a Covid briefing was three weeks ago, so I am glad today to be able to provide a full update and set out our decisions on the next steps forward. My remarks will therefore be slightly longer than normal.

"I am joined by the Chief Medical Officer and the National Clinical Director, who will help me answer questions.

"Before that, the main purpose of my remarks is to confirm that the move to level 2, with the associated changes to the Covid rules, scheduled for next Monday 17 May will go ahead as planned in most parts of Scotland.

"Indeed, in one respect - which I will cover shortly - we are able to go slightly further than previously anticipated.

"However, there are two geographic exceptions to this which I will flag up now, but cover in more detail later.

"In recent days, Moray has been experiencing a high and increasing number of cases with a small associated increase in hospital admissions. Indeed, public health experts consider that Moray is currently experiencing widespread community transmission of the virus.

"It is therefore highly probable, though a final decision will be taken at the end of this week, that Moray will have to remain in level 3 for a further period - though I hope it will be a relatively short one.

"However – more happily – the situation in some of our island communities is now sufficiently under control that we are able to ease restrictions there more quickly than on the mainland. Therefore, from Monday, we expect that island communities will move down to level 1.

"I am going to come on to more detail on all of that at a slightly later point, but I wanted to flag up the main decisions at the outset of this statement.

"Normally, at this point, I would update you on the daily statistics. Unfortunately, I am not able to do that right now due to a significant IT issue affecting Public Health Scotland this morning. I hope that will be resolved soon and can assure you that all of today's figures will be published just as quickly as possible. You will be able to access them when they are published on the Scottish Government website.

"However, what we know from our recent run of daily statistics is that over the past three weeks the success of the vaccination programme, and I want to covey my thanks to everyone involved in that. The success of the vaccination programme – and continued high compliance on the part of the general population with the various rules and restrictions – means that we have seen continued suppression the virus.

"Since I last stood here, cases have continued to fall – from an average of 226 new cases a day to 177. That said, in the last week, there has been a very slight increase in cases.

"That is driven, largely, by the situation in Moray - which I will address shortly - but, together with the emergence of new variants globally, should be a sharp reminder to all of us that this virus remains a very real threat.

"Notwithstanding the changes I am about to confirm, we must all continue to be careful, responsible and vigilant. And, of course, our...

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