Nicola Sturgeon has announced lockdown changes across Scotland in her latest Covid-19 briefing.

The First Minister spoke in Holyrood today and updated MSPs on the state of the epidemic, and set out what comes next for areas across the country.

Here, we round up the key points from today's briefing that you need to know.


Areas to move into Level 0

At today's briefing, Nicola Sturgeon announced that the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland will be moving to Level 0.

She asked anyone who is thinking of travelling to these islands to take a lateral flow test ahead of their journey.

Areas to move into Level 1

Ms Sturgeon announced 15 areas in Scotland will move into Level 1 restrictions from midnight on Friday, 

These areas include:

  • Highland
  • Argyll & Bute
  • Aberdeen City
  • Aberdeenshire
  • Moray
  • Angus
  • Perth & Kinross
  • Falkirk
  • Fife
  • Inverclyde
  • East Lothian
  • West Lothian
  • West Dunbartonshire
  • Dumfries & Galloway
  • Scottish Borders

Areas to remain in Level 2

Some areas in Scotland will not move to Level 1 restrictions with the rest of the country due to high numbers of Covid cases.

Ms Sturgeon told MSPs there could even be an argument to move these areas into Level 3 restrictions, given the raw figures, but the impact of the vaccination programme has meant this would not be needed.

“However, it is important to stress that this is a pause, not a step backwards,” the First Minister said.

“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.”

She added: “And taking a cautious approach now – while more people get fully vaccinated – gives us the best chance of staying on the right track overall.”

Edinburgh and Midlothian, North, South and East Ayrshire and North and South Lanarkshire are among those remaining in Level 2 restrictions.

The full list is as follows:

  • Edinburgh
  • Midlothian
  • Dundee City
  • East Dunbartonshire
  • Renfrewshire
  • East Renfrewshire
  • North Ayrshire
  • South Ayrshire
  • East Ayrshire Ayrshire
  • North Lanarkshire
  • South Lanarkshire
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Stirling

Glasgow update

The First Minister also provided an important update regarding Glasgow.

HeraldScotland: Shoppers on Buchanan Street, Glasgow today, Monday 26th April. Shops, cafes, pubs, hospitality venues, gyms and museums opened today due to the easing of lockdown restrictions.

  Photograph by Colin Mearns
26 April 2021

The city has been the only area in Scotland to remain in Level 3 restrictions, and today, Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that Glasgow will move down to Level 2.

"Case numbers have fallen slightly in recent days," she said. "This provides further evidence that the major public health interventions in the last few weeks are having an impact."

Glasgow will enter the lower tier from midnight on Friday.

New cases today

More than 470 fresh cases of coronavirus have been identified during the past 24 hours. 

Scottish Government statistics show that 478 new cases of the virus have been recorded since Monday, a fall of 12 on the day before.

During that time there were no new deaths of someone who tested positive for the disease within the past 28 days, meaning the death toll under this measure 7,669.  

Out of the new tests which that reported results, 3.1% were positive, lower than the 5% the World Health Organisation (WHO) believes indicates a pandemic is coming under control. 

According to the latest statistics, the vaccination programme has now administered 3,267,290 first doses, while 2,075,231 people have received a second, taking the overall total to more than five million. 

A total of 106 people remain in hospital receiving treatment for the virus, four fewer than the previous day, while ten are in intensive care, an increase of two.

Vaccination progress

Nicola Sturgeon says the vaccination programme is opening the 'path to a less restrictive way of dealing with Covid'.

She said: "We do believe that vaccinations are opening the path to a less restrictive way of dealing with Covid - one less driven by case numbers.

HeraldScotland: Nurse Eleanor Pinkerton administers a coronavirus vaccine to one of the health and social care staff at the NHS Louisa Jordan Hospital  Picture: Jane BarlowPA Wire

"But because not all adults have been fully vaccinated with two doses so far, we are not quite there yet.

"And as we make this transition - just to compound the challenge further - we are also dealing with a new, faster spreading variant."

What do the levels mean?