East Lothian, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire will all move up to Level 3 of the COVID-19 protection scale this Friday 18 December at 6pm following rises in the prevalence of the virus in the past week.
All other areas remain unchanged in their levels. However, Cabinet agreed today that there will be a review of the protection levels next week (Tuesday, 22 December) in order to allow for any action to be taken in light of further changes in infection data.
The First Minister also said in view of the specific circumstances of island communities with very low incidence of the virus and limited connections with the mainland, restrictions on in-home socialising will be relaxed from Friday at 6pm for a number of inhabited islands in the local authority area of Argyll and Bute.
These are Islay, Jura, Colonsay, Oronsay, Coll, Tiree, Mull, Iona, Ulva, Erraid and Gometra. These islands must follow the 6/2 rules for in-home socialising that currently apply to islands in Level 1 areas.
With the relaxation of the protection levels for Christmas only one week away, the First Minister also asked people to avoid mixing with other households over Christmas unless absolutely necessary. She also encouraged those who feel they do need to see others to reduce unnecessary contacts as much as possible between now and then to prevent the spread of the virus during the Christmas period.
You can check which level applies to you by using the Scottish Government postcode checker.
Find out more about the COVID protection levels and what you can and cannot do at each level at https://www.gov.scot/coronaviruslevels
Grants are available for businesses that are required by law to close or to significantly change operations as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. Find out who is eligible and how to apply here.
Link to today’s news release https://www.gov.scot/news/changes-to-coronavirus-levels/
Link to First Minister’s statement https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-update-first-ministers-statement-15-december-2020/
Protection levels that will apply in each local authority area with evidence and analysis informing these decisions https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-allocation-of-levels-to-local-authorities-15-december-2020/