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First Minister’s Statement 30th March 2021

During her COVID-19 media briefing, the First Minister covered the following (30/03/21):

  • The FM confirmed that a further 411 cases of COVID-19 had been reported in the previous 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 210,890. She also noted that 250 people were in hospital, with 23 individuals receiving intensive care. Further, she confirmed that 12 additional deaths had been recorded, taking the total to 7,596. On vaccinations, the FM observed that 2,436,398 people had received the first dose of the vaccine and 338,443 had been given a second dose.
  • The FM noted that despite a significant drop in deaths, there was no room for complacency and that Scotland must remain “hyper vigilant” in the fight against COVID-19.
  • The FM confirmed that the ‘stay at home’ rule was to be lifted from 2 April and would be replaced with advice to ‘stay local’ due to positive vaccination results. She also confirmed that click and collect services, hairdressers, and barbers would be able to resume business from Monday. This, the FM said, would also include campus learning for some students, specifically engineering, beauty, and hairdressing.
  • The First Minister also pointed to upcoming reduced restrictions from 26 April, specifically highlighting the hospitality sector. She noted that all level four areas were expected to move to level three and that all secondary school pupils were expected to return after the Easter Holidays. She added that a full reopening of retail services, a partial reopening of hospitality, and an easing of outdoor gathering restrictions was also expected from this date.
  • The FM closed the briefing in the usual way by reiterating the rules in place and urging Scots to abide by them.
  • During the following questions, Central FM asked if people would continue to face fines for travelling outside their council areas. The FM noted that this would still be the case. The Daily Record raised the subject of international travel in the context of Chile’s increased infection rates. The Chief Medical Officer and National Clinical Director noted that Chile’s experience backed up the Scottish Government’s cautious approach to leaving lockdown. The Daily Mail asked if the current trends could indicate a further reduction in travel restrictions. The FM noted that her approach was guided by the data but that she was hopeful for further progress.

The First Minister confirmed the current Stay at Home rule will be lifted from Friday (2 April) and replaced by a requirement to Stay Local. This means that the current travel restrictions will remain in place for another 3 weeks.

The First Minister hoped further plans for easing restrictions would be confirmed at a media briefing in three weeks’ time. This would include mainland Scotland moving from level 4 to level 3 on 26 April, travel restrictions within the mainland ending, a full reopening of retail premises and a partial reopening of the hospitality sector. It is also hoped it will be possible to ease some of the rules on outdoor meetings from the same date.

The Scottish Government will shortly publish updated levels tables online. They will provide some more information about prospective changes during April, May and into the summer.

Read the Statement.

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