Sturgeon confirms government hopes to place isles in ‘level one’ of Covid restrictions

FIRST minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that the Scottish Government hopes to place Shetland in level one of a new tiered system of coronavirus restrictions.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday afternoon, she however said that current advice recommends that this should come with a temporary continuation of the ban on people visiting each other indoors.

The position on this would be reviewed weekly, parliament heard.

Sturgeon confirmed that the government is considering placing Shetland, Orkney, the Western Isles, the Highlands and Moray in level one when the tiered system comes into place on Monday.

The current restrictions are effectively level two.

Level one would generally allow people to visit indoors, with a gathering a maximum of six from two households, but Sturgeon said the introduction of this element would be delayed.

Orkney MSP Liam McArthur intervened during Sturgeon’s introduction to parliament to state that as winter approaches continuing to prohibit household visits in rural areas could prove problematic.

The first minister said she recognised this and added that it should be a “short-term temporary change”.

She added that in level one restrictions on hospitality will be loosened, but there is likely to be a 10.30pm curfew.

Sturgeon also said that a postcode checker will be introduced to allow people to check what restrictions apply to them.

The strategic framework on the tiers is currently being debated in the Scottish Parliament this afternoon, with MSPs set to vote.

Sturgeon said it is expected that confirmation will be given on Thursday as to where each local authority will be placed in the tier system.

More information on the proposed tiers can be read online on the Scottish Government website.

Shetland News