MSPs are to debate and vote on Scotland’s new five-level system of local Covid-19 restrictions on Tuesday.
Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 8:30 am
The Scottish Government has drawn up the new system – which is linked to the three-tier system in force in England – to come into force from 2 November.
The new framework would add to the three-tier set-up currently in place in England.
If the draft framework is approved by MSPs, ministers will then decide later in the week on which lockdown levels will apply to different parts of Scotland.
The grades will range from 0 to 4 with 0 being the lowest lockdown level.
Grades will be given to local authority areas, rather than the current NHS health board restrictions currently in use.
What time will the debate start at Holyrood?
The debate is expected to take place at 3pm.
What level of restrictions are different parts of Scotland expected to be placed under?
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has indicated that much of the Central Belt could be placed under level three restrictions.
Current Central Belt restrictions apply to areas covered by the Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley health boards.
According to a leaked document, North and South Lanarkshire are facing level 4, while infection levels in Dundee are also causing concern and the city could be moved into level 3.
The Grampian region which has also experienced a high incidence of cases could be placed under level three restrictions.
With every health board in Scotland recording cases of coronavirus it is unlikely that any region will be placed under level 0 restrictions.
Areas with low incidences of cases, however, such as the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland could be placed under less strict level 1 restrictions.
What did The First Minister say?
Ms Sturgeon said: “We do not envisage returning to a situation as severe as the first lockdown imposed back in late March.”
How do all 4 levels in Scotland work?
Ms Sturgeon broke down the tiers as follows:
Level 0: “Broadly comparable to the position we reached in August when the virus was very suppressed in Scotland but still a threat. At this level we would be able to meet indoors with eight people from three households and most businesses would be open, albeit with safety measures in place.”
Level 1: “Sees slightly more restrictions, household meetings would reduce to six people from two households but there would still be a reasonable degree of normality overall.”
Level 2: “Entails restrictions broadly similar to those currently in place just now outside the central belt, so limitations on hospitality and no gatherings inside people’s homes.”
Level 3: “Broadly similar to the tougher restrictions which currently apply across the central belt, with much of hospitality being closed completely. There are however some key differences, for example we envisage restaurants being able to be open at least partially in Level 3.”
Level 4: “The highest level, which of course we would not use unless absolutely necessary, would apply when transmission rates are, or are threatening to become, very high with corresponding pressure on the NHS and perhaps the risk of the NHS being overwhelmed.”