Nicola Sturgeon will on Tuesday set out more detailed plans for lifting Scotland’s lockdown restrictions as new Covid-19 cases and deaths continue to fall and pressure on NHS hospitals and staff eases.
Scotland’s youngest schoolchildren resumed lessons on Monday and Ms Sturgeon is expected to announce the loosening of more rules beginning in March following months of lockdown.
Under current rules, everyone in mainland Scotland and some islands must stay at home unless for essential purposes such as work and exercise.
Ms Sturgeon has previously warned that any easing of measures will be guided by data rather than dates, with a return to “normality” dependent upon falling numbers of Covid-19 hospitalisations.
Prime minister Boris Johnson on Monday revealed his “roadmap” out of England’s lockdown. And while Scotland’s will not be identical, Ms Sturgeon said her plans will be “broadly similar”.
“I think the principles will be the same – we’re living through the same pandemic,” she told Scotland’s daily Covid-19 briefing.
“There is a limit to how much it is sensible to diverge in the circumstances we’re facing in common but clearly we will make our own judgements about the particular order and the particular timing of that because the data is not identical in each of the four nations.”
Ms Sturgeon did, however, confirm there would be an eventual return to the geographical “tier” system brought in in autumn last year. Mr Johnson confirmed England would not reintroduce tiered measures.
The first minister is expected to address the Scottish parliament at around 2.15pm. We’ll be bringing you details of Ms Sturgeon’s speech as it happens on our liveblog.