Nicola Sturgeon has announced her five-tier plan plan of measures for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic in Scotland.
The new set of restrictions has been anticipated since a similar three-tiered system was introduced in England by prime minister Boris Johnson.
The Scottish system ranges from the highest tier, level four – which would impose tough measures but stop short of the nationwide lockdown in March – to the lowest, level zero, which is as close to normality as possible, with most businesses open.
If approved at Holyrood next week, the new measures will come into force in Scotland on November 2. Local areas will subsequently be assigned a level of restrictions, which will be reviewed weekly thereafter.
Here is what each level could mean for your area:
Level 0 – This is the closest to normality the Scottish Government thinks is possible without a vaccine or better Covid-19 treatment.
In effect, this is the level health officials will look to achieve with behavioural impacts, such as social distancing and restrictions on daily freedoms, until an effective scientific intervention is ready to be rolled out across the country.
The first minister said it was “broadly comparable” to the position in August, when transmission had been reduced but the virus still remained a threat.
However, even at level zero some restrictions and guidance will remain in place.
Areas living in this level would allow people to meet indoors with eight people from three households and most businesses would be open, with safety measures in place.
Level 1 – This level is regarded as being similar to England’s medium-tier restrictions and is broadly comparable with the situation in September.
The rule of six would come back into force, limiting meetings to a maximum of two households – but there would be a “reasonable” degree of normality overall.
Levels 2 and 3 – The restrictions in place across levels two and three were described as being broadly similar to those in effect now, with level three being closer to the situation in the central belt.
There would be limitations on hospitality and no gatherings whatsoever in people’s homes. Pubs would be closed or operate under restricted opening times.
In level three, pubs will be shut both indoors and outdoors. Most of the hospitality sector will be closed at this level but the first minister said she would expect some restaurants to remain open under strict conditions.
Level 4 – Ms Sturgeon said the highest level of restrictions would not be used “unless absolutely necessary”.
It has been compared to a national lockdown but it is not as far reaching – the first minister said the country would not need to go back to the same level of lockdown imposed in March under the framework.
Level four would only come into effect if cases were very high and there was a risk of the NHS being overwhelmed.
Non-essential travel to or from Level 3 and Level 4 areas would not be permitted and non-essential shops, such as those exclusively selling clothing or home goods, would be forced to close.
However, even at this level, six people from two households will still be allowed to meet outdoors and there will be no limit on outdoor exercise.
Ms Sturgeon said her goal was to keep school open across the five levels and the government would seek to keep manufacturing and construction firms open.