Nicola Sturgeon is about announce any modifications to the coronavirus restrictions in place following the newest evaluation of lockdown measures this week.
The First Minister is scheduled to disclose the outcomes of the evaluation on Tuesday afternoon when she addresses parliament simply after 2pm.
The variety of coronavirus circumstances and deaths has been declining in Scotland, nevertheless there are nonetheless considerations progress as considerably “stalled” because the extra cussed Kent variant persists in Scottish communities.
Ministers are set to make a ultimate choice on the proposed plans for a phased return to colleges and different coronavirus after assembly on Tuesday morning.
What coronavirus restrictions are at the moment in place?
Faculties and companies – together with eating places, bars and gymnasiums have been closed throughout mainland Scotland since January 4, when Ms Sturgeon introduced Scotland’s second lockdown.
In the meantime Scots have been restricted to leaving the home for important functions solely, resembling going to the grocery store, train or caring for a weak particular person.
These restrictions had been put in place till at the least the tip of February, with the final lockdown evaluation going down on February 2nd.
What may change?
On the final evaluation Nicola Sturgeon mentioned that college pupils – who’ve been studying remotely – would begin to make a phased return from February 22, supplied it was deemed protected sufficient to take action.
A phased return would see Major 1-Three youngsters again at school 5 days per week and a few senior pupils allowed to attend class for key coursework.
Ms Sturgeon at this time mentioned that she was “very, very, very eager to go forward with that if in any respect doable.”
She added: “I do not need to increase expectations too excessive in the meanwhile, we are going to contemplate to what extent it’s doable to put out, even an indicative timetable for the subsequent teams of pupils which might be maybe prone to return to high school, however that will not be speedy.”
Nonetheless, there may be nonetheless uncertainty over the feasability of a return to high school for pupils.
Talking on the briefing on Friday, Jeane Freeman mentioned the strategy could be “cautious”
She mentioned: “Whereas the news that we’re reporting is healthier news than we’ve got been reporting about case numbers and numbers in ICU, these are nonetheless excessive case numbers and individuals are dying in numbers which might be of big remorse to all of us – so our strategy should be a cautious one.
“The Cupboard will meet firstly of the week and evaluation all of that data, take recommendation from colleagues like Jason and the chief medical officer and make a ultimate choice subsequent week on whether or not that deliberate restricted reopening of schooling can nonetheless go forward.”
Jason Leitch added that progress on lowering the unfold of the virus had “stalled”, which means a return to colleges for pupils could possibly be in jeopardy.
He mentioned: “The trajectory remains to be a very tough query. It’s sluggish – it’s nonetheless decelerating – however barely. We’ve stalled, not utterly, however the curve is flatter than we’d have hoped and that’s all right down to the brand new variant.”
He added: “I and my colleagues – with the modellers, with the statisticians, with the general public well being leaders – will give recommendation to the First Minister, the Cupboard Secretary and the Cupboard and they’re going to resolve on Monday whether or not faculties ought to open, even on this restricted manner.”
What about different restrictions?
Talking on the final evaluation, Ms Sturgeon advised that different measures could possibly be eased in early March.
She mentioned: “If our progress continues, then I’m cautiously – and I stress cautiously – optimistic that, as an increasing number of individuals get vaccinated, and with the safety of a number of the further measures that I’ll set out shortly, we could possibly start wanting in direction of a cautious and gradual easing across the begin of March. I’ll give an replace on that in two weeks’ time.”
Professor Linda Bauld of the College of Edinburgh mentioned she is hopeful different companies resembling bars and eating places will be capable to progressively reopen over the approaching months.
On the reopening of pubs and eating places, she advised that pubs will first reopen with entry outdoor.
She informed BBC GMS: “I’m actually hopeful that they are going to be, I definitely suppose when the climate will get higher we’ll be capable to entry that outdoor after which indoors with mitigation if we proceed to make progress.
“It’s been actually, actually powerful for that sector.
“The essential factor is after we do open up, we don’t need to have to shut down once more and that’s why the vaccines are going to be completely important.”
Nonetheless, she cautioned that folks will doubtless proceed to must put on face coverings for the remainder of the 12 months and in future winters.
“We’re going to have some public well being measures, face coverings, distancing and maintaining our eye on not importing variants from abroad, for a while to return.”
Prof Bauld mentioned she expects the nation will return to the degrees framework of restrictions because it reopens in levels.
She mentioned that framework relies on a variety of indicators and whereas progress is being made, the variety of individuals in hospital must go down earlier than issues can change.
She mentioned: “ICU and hospital numbers have to go down extra and in addition the modelling of capability must be in the best place, however I actually do suppose we’re going to be listening to excellent news fairly quickly and other people needs to be hopeful that we’re not going to be caught on this scenario indefinitely.”
Nicola Sturgeon mentioned at this time that the entire knowledge was “encouraging”.
She mentioned: “The entire knowledge goes in the best route.
“As we noticed in intervals final 12 months after we had been suppressing the virus, we typically appear to hit a interval the place the decline begins to tail off a bit of bit, so that you see case numbers plateauing reasonably than declining fairly firmly.
“We could also be beginning to see a bit of little bit of that in Scotland proper now, it would not essentially be that surprising however it’s one thing that we simply must be conscious of as we sit up for potential timetables for alleviating lockdown extra typically.”
The place can I watch?
You’ll be capable to watch Nicola Sturgeon’s deal with reside on the Scottish Parliament TV channel, BBC Scotland, and Fb.
There may even be reside updates on The Herald coronavirus weblog.
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