Changes to Christmas relaxation of COVID restrictions to be considered
The easing of public health restrictions over Christmas may be reconsidered in light of the new strain of coronavirus.
Nicola Sturgeon will take part in a four-nations call with her counterparts in Wales and Northern Ireland and Michael Gove this afternoon to discuss the matter.
She confirmed in her weekly statement to parliament that the prospect of reducing the duration of the relaxed period or reducing the numbers of people allowed to meet will be considered.
She said: “I’m not going into it with a fixed view, because I think it’s important we have the discussion across the four nations given family patterns across the UK, but I do think there is a case for us looking at whether we tighten the flexibilities that were given any further, both in terms of duration and numbers of people meeting.
“I will consider the views of the other nations. If we can come to a four-nations agreement, I think that would be preferable. If that is not possible, then of course we will consider within the Scottish Government what we think is appropriate.”
The First Minister said she would make a statement to parliament on any changes as soon as possible.
She also confirmed there would be another update next Tuesday on COVID restrictions, despite previous expectations today’s would be the last one until the New Year.
Meanwhile, East Lothian, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire have all been moved up to level three after a rise in coronavirus cases in those areas.
All other levels across Scotland will remain the same, though Sturgeon added that East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire and Fife (currently level three) and Falkirk and Angus (both level two) were being monitored.
She also said while Argyll and Bute will remain in level two for now, it may be moved to level one next week and residents on the outer islands – Islay, Jura, Colonsay, Oronsay, Coll, Tiree, Mull, Iona, Ulva, Erraid and Gometra – will be able to meet another household indoors.