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First Minister Statement: Covid-19 Scotland’s Strategic Framework

27th October


  • The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon set out the changes to the proposed strategic framework document that was published on 23rd October and MSPs then debated the Scottish Government’s plans.
  • The Scottish Government have published a draft protection levels table[1], indicators table[2] and a letter to COSLA[3] which provide further detail of the changes.
  • The Scottish Government had engaged with opposition party leaders and business stakeholders over the preceding days.
  • This statement and debate did not outline what areas of Scotland would be subject to specific levels of restriction. That will follow this Thursday.

Main Announcements

  • The Scottish Government will take a proportionate and targeted approach to coronavirus restrictions across the country.
  • The FM stressed the flexibility of the system, confirming the detail will be kept under review.
  • The overall aim will be to get every area to Level 1 and then to Level 0 as quickly as possible.
  • A postcode checker will be launched for individuals to check which level of restrictions apply to their area.
  • On the specific levels, the FM said the following in terms of the overall approach:
  • Level 0: Similar to what Scotland experienced in August 2020
  • Level 1: Similar to what Scotland experienced in mid-September 2020
  • Level 2: Similar to current non-Central Belt restrictions
  • Level 3: Similar to current Central Belt restrictions.
  • Level 4: Similar to a full lockdown with closure of all non-essential shops. Would be a short, sharp intervention. However, six people from two households could meet outdoors. Manufacturing and construction would remain open.
  • Across all levels, the Scottish Government would expect schools and childcare to remain open.
  • The FM also provided details of how the restrictions would apply to the hospitality industry:
  • Level 0: hospitality to operate almost normally subject to rules on physical distancing, limits on numbers and table service only.
  • Level 1: similar to baseline level but with curfew closing time of 10:30pm rather than 10pm.
  • Level 2: similar to restrictions in place outside the central belt, with normal operations outdoors and an early closing time. The closing time will again be extended to 10:30pm. At present, some premises can serve food and non-alcoholic drinks indoors only until 6pm. At Level 2, this will be extended to 8pm and alcohol will be permitted with main meals.
  • Level 3: similar to current restrictions which have seen only cafes open in the central belt until 6pm to serve food and non-alcoholic drinks. But, unlike the present, pubs and restaurants will also be able to open to serve both food and non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Level 4: Hospitality closed.
  • The FM also gave an indication of what levels would apply to certain parts of Scotland but emphasised that no final decisions had been made:
  • The central belt areas currently under the tougher restrictions are likely to be in Level 3. Most of the country is likely to be in Level 2.
  • The Highlands, Orkney, Shetland, the Western Isles and Moray might go to Level 1.
  • Dundee City might go into Level 3, while North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire may go into Level 4.

Next Steps

  • On Thursday, prior to FMQs, the FM will set out what levels will apply to each area of Scotland
  • This will then take effect on 2 November and will be reviewed on a weekly basis.


[2] A levels approach to suppression of COVID-19-draft-25-october-2020

[3] letter-to-cosla

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