Nicola Sturgeon announcement: FM cancels MSPs holidays to make Covid lockdown statement

Johnson urges caution as Covid cases continue to fall

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MSPs have been recalled to Holyrood to hear the First Minister make her statement. At 2pm she is expected to say from August 9 most restrictions that have been in place since the start of the pandemic can be lifted.

MSPs are currently on summer recess but have been asked to return for the virtual session of parliament to debate the latest Covid situation.

Nightclubs are set to re-open from next Monday and sports stadia are set to go back to welcoming fans at full capacity.

Social distancing is also expected to be scrapped in supermarkets and pubs.

Her statement comes three weeks after Prime Minister announced plans for England to scrap most Covid rules from July 19.

Mr Johnson was accused by some north of the border of being premature in ending restrictions, but since the coronavirus laws were repealed, case numbers in England and across the UK as a whole have continued to drop.

Yesterday there were 21,952 new cases in the UK confirmed by a positive coronavirus test, down 27 percent in a week.

The figure is also the lowest number of daily new cases recorded in more than a month.

Since July 19 Scotland has been on “Level 0” of Ms Sturgeon’s roadmap out of lockdown.

It increased the number of people who could gather and extended the opening hours of hospitality.

Curfews have been imposed on pubs and restaurants in Scotland throughout 2021 so far.

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While Ms Sturgeon will follow Mr Johnson’s lead on opening up most of society from next Monday, she has already made clear masks will remain mandatory.

She said face coverings in shops and public transport will remain a requirement for “some time to come”.

The SNP Government is also under pressure from the Scottish Conservatives to announce a change to the self-isolation rules.

Douglas Ross is pushing for Ms Sturgeon to announce those who have been double vaccinated to not require to isolate if they are a close contact of a positive Covid case.

He said: “The success of Scotland and the UK’s vaccine scheme overall means we can now look to move forward, cautiously but confidently, and remove almost all Covid restrictions.

“The blanket requirement to self-isolate for 10 days should be amended for those who are double vaccinated since the virus now poses far less risk to people with that level of protection.

“We should move to a test-first system that lets people get on with their lives safely.

“Scotland’s economic recovery hinges on the SNP Government moving beyond Covid restrictions – we must seize this opportunity to start rebuilding from the damage of Covid now and not delay any longer.”

Ms Sturgeon is expected to reject the demands for the changes in her Holyrood statement.

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