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Scotland Covid: Nicola Sturgeon announces delay to lockdown lifting

The move by Nicola Sturgeon had been widely expected (Picture: Getty)

Nicola Sturgeon has delayed the easing of coronavirus restrictions in Scotland by at least three weeks, to July 19.

The First Minister confirmed to Holyrood on Tuesday afternoon that the planned relaxation on Monday, June 28 would not go ahead.

The widely-anticipated move comes after Ms Sturgeon said last week that it was ‘unlikely’ that all of the country would enter Level 0 as initially hoped – and follows a similar delay to ‘freedom day’ in England, which had been scheduled for Monday, June 21.

Level 0 – the lowest in Scotland’s five-tier system – is only in place in the island authorities of Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles, with all mainland areas having either Level 1 or Level 2 restrictions applied. Those levels will stay the same, Ms Sturgeon confirmed.

The First Minister told the Scottish Parliament that she also hoped that all priority groups would be fully vaccinated by Sunday.

The Scottish Government is also publishing a review on Tuesday of physical distancing requirements, along with a paper which Ms Sturgeon said would set out ‘what we hope life will look like beyond Level 0 – as we get to the point where we can lift all, or virtually all, of the remaining restrictions’.

Scotland has recorded four new coronavirus deaths and 2,167 new cases in the past 24 hours, according to latest figures.


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It means the death toll under this daily measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – is now 7,696.

The daily test positivity rate has jumped to 9.1%, up from 7.2% the previous day, according to figures published by the Scottish Government on Tuesday.

There were 171 people in hospital on Monday with recently confirmed Covid-19, and 18 people in intensive care.

So far 3,664,571 people have received the first dose of a Covid vaccination and 2,602,753 have received their second dose.

This is a breaking news story, more to follow soon… Check back shortly for further updates.

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