GLASGOW and 10 other local authorities will be moved out of lockdown restrictions and into tier 3 of the Scottish Government's Covid-19 strategy on Friday.

Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that all 11 local authorities currently subject to tier 4 rules will be moved down one level at 6pm on Friday.

The First Minister said the prevalence of the virus has “fallen significantly” in all 11 areas in west and central Scotland in Level 4, but warned against complacency.

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Ms Sturgeon also told MSPs that Angus, Falkirk and Inverclyde will be moved from level 3 to level 2 - but Edinburgh, which now has a prevalence of 68 cases per 100,000 people will remain in tier 3 amid fears that rules being relaxed over the festive period could lead to a resurgence of the virus.

Pubs and restaurants in tier three can only open until 6pm and cannot sell alcohol for consumption on the premises.

Ms Sturgeon said: “The fall in infection rates in these areas - the most highly populated in the country - have contributed to an improvement in the situation across Scotland as a whole. All of this puts us in a much better position to cope with the inevitable difficulties of winter.

“However, it does not remove the need for a cautious approach. The risks and challenges of the next few months are clear.

“That is why, in reaching decisions today, we have had to consider the potential overall impact of moving to a lower level of restrictions at the same time as the Christmas period begins in earnest.”

Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders will also move from tier 2 into tier 1 from Friday.

Shops in tier 4 areas moving into tier 3 will be allowed to re-open from 6am on Friday to allow businesses to "better manage the flow of customers".

Travel restrictions will remain in place, meaning those living in tier 3 areas will be unable to travel to other areas unless they have a reasonable excuse to do so. It means that those living outside the city off Glasgow in Renfrewshire, Lanarkshire and Dumbartonshire will not be allowed to travel into the city for Christmas shopping.

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The First Minister said: “Nobody in a level 3 area, or until Friday a level 4 area, should travel outside their local authority area, except for very specific purposes.

“And no-one should travel into level 3 or 4 areas unless for essential purposes.

“I am afraid that means, for example, that people from outside Glasgow must not travel there to do Christmas shopping when retail opens on Friday.”

The First Minister also said further business support in Scotland will be announced on Wednesday.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes will lay out support to Parliament as businesses across the country are forced to remain closed due to restrictions.

Consideration will also be given by Scottish ministers to changing the content of levels being enforced, with particular focus on the opening of hospitality businesses.