Glasgow to move to Level 2 as Sturgeon puts the brakes on Scotland's lockdown easing

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Glasgow to move to Level 2 as Sturgeon puts the brakes on Scotland's lockdown easing

Related tags Scotland lockdown Glasgow Coronavirus tier system

Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that Glasgow will finally move from Level 3 to Level 2 of Scotland's five-tier system of Coronavirus restrictions from Saturday (5 June).

The First Minister confirmed the decision during an update to the Scottish Parliament this afternoon (1 June), at which she also outlined how plans for the further easing of lockdown will look across different regions of the country. 

Rising cases of the so-called Indian variant in certain areas and the fact a large proportion of the population is still not fully vaccinated means that plans to move into Level 1 restrictions will be delayed for much of the country. 

Most of Scotland's central belt, including East Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire, the three Ayrshires, North and South Lanarkshire, Clackmannanshire and Stirling, will be held in Level 2 with Glasgow, with pubs and restaurants able to serve alcohol indoors, subject to a 10:30pm curfew, to groups of up to six adults from three households.

A total of 15 council areas will move from Level 2 to Level 1, including the Highlands, Argyle and Bute, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire, Moray, Angus, Falkirk, Fyfe, Perth and Kinross, Inverclyde, Eastern West Lothian, West Dumbartonshire, Dumfries and Galloway, and the Borders.

Under Level 1, hospitality is only subject to an 11pm curfew and able to host groups of up to eight people from three households indoors.

The First Minister also confirmed that some areas including Shetland, Orkney, and the Western Isles would move to Level 0, which removes all curfew restrictions on hospitality businesses and allows up to 10 people from four households to mix in indoor settings.

Sturgeon told MSPs that there could have been an argument to move some areas back into Level 3 restrictions, given the raw figures, but the impact of the vaccination programme meant this would not be needed.

She said: "It is important to stress that this is a pause, not a step backwards.

"And Level 2 is not lockdown. It does have an impact on opening hours of pubs and restaurants and the numbers that can attend certain events.

"Taking a cautious approach now - while more people get fully vaccinated - gives us the best chance of staying on the right track overall."

The Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) hailed the decision to move Glasgow to Level 2 as 'fantastic news', but added that it was disappointed about the decision not to move much of the central belt down to Level 1.

“First and foremost, we are delighted that Glasgow at long last has been given a much-needed break which will allow the easing of indoor licensed hospitality restrictions," says Colin Wilkinson, SLTA managing director.

"It really is fantastic news and telling businesses now gives them more time to get organised ahead of the weekend.
"However, it must be remembered that late-night operators remain closed with no known dates when restrictions on that sector will be lifted.

“We are, of course, also extremely happy that the Scottish islands currently in Level 1 can move into Level 0.

“However, we are disappointed that so many other local authorities must remain in Level 2 rather than move to Level 1 as they were hoping. We accept the need for caution as the country continues to navigate its way through the pandemic but that doesn’t negate the feeling of deflation for businesses.”

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