NICOLA Sturgeon has confirmed lockdown easing will be delayed in parts of central Scotland as she revealed which areas will move to Level One on Saturday.

The First Minister said Scotland is at a "key and difficult moment" in the pandemic and must still "err on the side of caution". 

Glasgow, which had tougher rules than the rest of Scotland, will move to Level Two at the weekend.

In addition to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Midlothian, Dundee, East Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire, the three Ayrshire councils, North and South Lanarkshire and Clackmannanshire and Stirling will all stay in Level Two.

But Ms Sturgeon said Highland, Argyll and Bute, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire, Moray, Angus, Perth and Kinross, Falkirk, Fife, Inverclyde, East and West Lothian, West Dunbartonshire, Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders will all move to Level One.

This means eight people from three households will be able to meet indoors in these areas, while 12 people from 12 households will be able to meet outdoors.

Meanwhile, 100 people as opposed to 50 can attend weddings and funerals, and soft play centres and funfairs can reopen.

Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles – alongside smaller and more remote islands – will move to Level Zero.

Ms Sturgeon said the decisions were "difficult and complex". 

She said that for those areas staying in Level Two, this is "a pause, not a step backwards".

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

"But we can still meet with six people from three households indoors and eight people from eight households outdoors.

"Hospitality remains open - indoors and outdoors - and so does retail.

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

Speaking in Holyrood, Ms Sturgeon said: "I appreciate that today’s decisions will feel like a mixed bag.

"That reflects the fact that we are in a transition phase. The vaccines make the outlook positive, but the new variant means the road ahead is still potentially bumpy.

"So caution is necessary.

"That said, no part of the country is going backwards today. Before the vaccines, that would have been impossible on case numbers like this.

"But the vaccines are changing the game. And that means we can still be optimistic about our chances of much more normality over the summer and beyond.

"Indeed, in the days ahead, and while it may still feel a way off for many of us, we will publish more detailed work on what we expect life beyond Level Zero to look like, as that greater normality returns.

"Indeed, one reason for proceeding with more caution now, is to make it easier in the future to resume our progress to Level Zero - and then beyond."