Most Scots to face Level 3 in new five-tier coronavirus restrictions

The majority of Scots will be placed into Level 3 of the new five-tier coronavirus restrictions from Monday, with the rest of the country in either Levels 1 or 2, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, the First Minister outlined the level of Covid-19 restrictions each area of Scotland will have when the new system comes into effect next week.

The central belt – including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling and Falkirk – will be joined by Dundee and Ayrshire in Level 3.

Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon

Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen, Fife, the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Argyll and Bute, Perth and Kinross and Angus will be in Level 2.

Highland, Moray, Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland have been assessed as Level 1.

Despite ministers considering putting North and South Lanarkshire into Level 4 – equivalent to a full lockdown – Ms Sturgeon revealed no area will be placed into that highest tier at the moment.

Levels 1, 2 and 3 are broadly comparable to the three levels in England.

Level 0 – which will not apply to any area on Monday – is similar to the situation in August when the virus was supressed to very low levels and Level 4 will only be used when “absolutely necessary”.

The central belt of Scotland currently has restrictions similar to Level 3, while the rest of Scotland have measures comparable to Level 2.

Ms Sturgeon told MSPs decisions to change the levels of each local authority area, if transmission of Covid-19 increases, will be put before Parliament on Tuesdays, with changes coming into force on the Friday.

The decisions will be reviewed each week and the next review will take place on November 10, coming into force on November 13.

The First Minister said it is hoped Edinburgh and East Lothian can move to Level 2 “at a very early review point”.

She stressed the decision on Lanarkshire was “borderline” and will be kept under review on a daily basis.

The First Minister also urged people to adhere to new travel restrictions from Monday.

Under the new five-tier system of restrictions, people in local authorities in Level 3 or 4 are asked not to travel outside of their local area.

Those in lower level areas have also been asked not to travel into councils in the higher restrictions.

Ms Sturgeon said: “I know travel restrictions are unwelcome and can be controversial but they are an absolutely essential part of any regional approach to tackling Covid.

“They are – unfortunately – a price we must pay for more targeted restrictions.”

She said she could not rule out nationwide restrictions resembling another lockdown if Covid-19 cases increase.

Urging Scots to “dig in and stick with it”, she said success in suppressing the virus will lead to the easing of restrictions across the country.