The new system will range from levels zero to four.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has revealed today the new five-tier lockdown system in Scotland which will be coming into force on 2nd November.
Setting out the key points for each level during the coronavirus briefing, the First Minister also stressed that Scotland will not go back into a lockdown as severe as the one back in March.
Sturgeon said: “We do not envisage returning to a situation as severe as the first lockdown in March. We are not back at square one. We have more tools now to control it. And today’s framework will, I hope, make further progress.”
The Scottish Government’s five-tier system, ranging from Level Zero to Level Four, will place different levels of restrictions on different parts of the country. This will allow those with less coronavirus cases more freedom and providing clarity on which rules apply to which health board area.
The First Minister described Level Zero as the proposed baseline level and “is the closest to normality that we think we can safely get to without more effective treatments for Covid or a vaccine against Covid.”
“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,” she added.
Nicola Sturgeon also stressed that schools will remain open throughout the country, adding: “Our objective at all levels is to keep schools open, though with necessary safety measures in place.”
It is not yet clear which areas of Scotland are in which tiers, but the plan will be presented to the Scottish Parliament next week, and a breakdown of which local authority falls where will be provided by 2nd November.
Based on the First Minister’s statement today, here is a basic breakdown of what each level means:
The “closest to normal” without treatments or a vaccine (Scotland’s position in August). Meeting indoors with eight people from three households allowed, and most businesses remain open.
Indoor household meetings reduced to six people from two households, as per the rules in September.
Some restrictions placed on hospitality and no gatherings in homes allowed.
Much of hospitality closed completely, restaurants remaining partially open – these restrictions are applied for shorter periods of time.
Highest – not used unless absolutely necessary, if transmission rates threaten to go higher and there’s a risk of the NHS being overwhelmed. Closer to a full lockdown with non-essential shops closing – however six people would be able to meet outdoors, at a maximum of two households. No limit on outdoor exercise. Manufacturing and construction businesses can remain open.
Today, 1401 positive cases for coronavirus have been recorded in Scotland with 493 of those cases being in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, and 413 in Lanarkshire.
For more detailed information as to what each level of the five tier system means you can view the Scottish government’s strategic framework here