Nicola Sturgeon to outline council area coronavirus restrictions
The levels of coronavirus restrictions to be placed on council areas are to be confirmed today.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will outline which of Scotland’s 32 council areas will be placed into one of five ‘tiers’ of coronavirus restrictions.
Much of the central belt is expected to be placed into the second highest level, while Orkney, Shetland, the Highlands and Western Isles are likely to be placed in a lower level.
The new system, which goes from levels zero to four, was agreed in Holyrood this week and will come into force from Monday.
Level three would see restrictions broadly similar to those currently in place in the central belt.
Sturgeon has indicated this is the level to be expected for much of the region.
There was a suggestion earlier this week that North and South Lanarkshire could be placed in the very highest level, which would involve the closure of all non-essential shops.
But the Scottish Government appeared to backtrack on this on Wednesday, with Sturgeon noting signs of progress in suppressing the coronavirus spread in the two council areas.
Business, police, local NHS and council figures had also asked the government to reconsider placing Lanarkshire under the strictest measures.
It is understood that the Highlands, Moray, Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles are to be placed in level one, the second lowest level, because of the relatively low spread of the virus in those regions.
Level one would allow indoor visiting by up to six people from a maximum of two households in the future, although Sturgeon has said that restrictions on indoor gatherings are likely to carry over for a period.
On Tuesday she said: "The public health advice to ministers is that, if a decision is taken this week to move any area to level 1, the current prohibition on meeting anyone from other households in our own homes should remain in place for a period as an extra precaution. We intend to accept that advice"
Sturgeon will outline these changes to parliament at 12:20.