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Covid-19 briefing: When will Nicola Sturgeon give her next update and what is she likely to say?

Nicola Sturgeon gave an update on the coronavirus crisis today
Nicola Sturgeon gave an update on the coronavirus crisis today

Nicola Sturgeon is expected to announce if restrictions in Moray will be relaxed today as she gives a coronavirus update.

Last week, the first minister announced that Moray and Glasgow would remain in Level 3 while the rest of mainland Scotland moved down to Level 2 on May 17.

The islands moved down to Level 1.

Yesterday, Scotland recorded its highest daily number of new Covid cases since the end of March, with 432 new cases reported.

When will the update be and how can I watch it?

Today, Ms Sturgeon will give an update on the emerging picture at 12.15pm and will be joined by newly-appointed health secretary Humza Yusaf and national clinical director Jason Leitch.

The update will be livestreamed on the Scottish Government Twitter page as well as on Scottish Parliament TV. 

It will also be shown on BBC Scotland.

What is she expected to say

Ms Sturgeon will be assessing the situation across Scotland and confirming which areas will be staying in their level or moving to a different one.

It is thought that she will announce that Moray will be lowered to Level 2 – allowing hospitality venues to offer drinks inside, and paving the way for other entertainment venues also to be allowed to open.

Health experts are “cautiously optimistic” as the NHS have been seeing a drop in Covid case numbers in the area.

At the start of the month, Moray had the highest levels of the virus than anywhere else in Scotland now, the numbers have fallen to around 40 per 100,000 population, brining the region in line with other areas of the country.

Uptake of vaccines have been high amongst all age groups across the area, with walk-in centres proving to be a successful tactic.

If Moray is lowered to Level 2, then it will be in line with the majority of mainland Scotland and residents will be allowed to travel and enjoy some relaxed restrictions.

The picture elsewhere

There has been some suggestion that East Renfrewshire could be moved back up to Level 3 to get the surge of cases under control quicker.

The area has now overtaken Glasgow as Scotland’s Covid hotspot as case rates rocket, though it is currently in Level 2 while the city is in Level 3.

Professor Devi Sridhar, from Edinburgh University, said while it is a tough trade-off, bringing in restrictions sooner rather than later could mean they do not have to drag on into the summer.

She told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “East Renfrewshire, I’m not sure what will be decided, I think we should remember that it’s data that should be driving this, not dates.

“While it is painful to move backwards we’ve seen for example in Moray that actually that early action in holding it brought the numbers down so it can be released earlier.

“We’ve learned throughout this in every country is you move early, you move hard, you move fast and then once you have the problem under control and you get those numbers down you can release quicker.

“The thing I would say to the people who are living there is that actually in some ways the crisis and the problem that you’re facing in your community might be over faster, go in earlier and harder and you can see the light in a week or two weeks getting out of this.”

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