All adults ‘expected to receive first Covid vaccine by July 18’

The time between doses of the coronavirus vaccine has been reduced from 12 weeks to eight.

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All adults in Scotland are on track to receive their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine by July 18, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The coronavirus vaccine rollout is being sped up after the lifting of restrictions in Scotland was delayed.

Those who have received their first dose of a Covid-19 jag will wait a month less for the second with the timescale reduced from 12 weeks between doses to eight weeks.

The First Minister said: “Vaccines are the way back to normality. I think we are increasingly confident of that.

“Quite literally every single one of us who gets these jabs is representing a step back towards normal life.”

On Thursday, Scotland recorded its highest number of new coronavirus cases in a day since late January.

Nicola Sturgeon made the announcement at a briefing on Friday afternoon, where she said plans for how the country will move beyond the least restrictive stage of the government’s five-tier system – level zero – will be published next week.

She said that all 18 to 19-year-olds should have received their vaccine appointment invitations by next week.

She said: “If you are aged 18 to 29 and you haven’t had an appointment sent to you by next weekend, please go to the appointment checker page on the NHS Inform website so that you can make sure you can get an appointment arranged.”

The First Minister announced a temporary travel ban between Scotland and a number of virus hotspots in England.

Non-essential travel is no longer allowed to and from Manchester and Salford and existing bans for Bolton and Blackburn remain in place.

Sturgeon said: “Anyone travelling elsewhere in the Greater Manchester or Lancashire area, I’d ask to think carefully about whether your journey is really necessary, because we do see cases rising across that region.”

However, travel to and from Bedford will be allowed from the weekend as will travel to the Republic of Ireland – although visitors to Ireland are still expected to quarantine.

Sturgeon also said the government intends to extend the increased notice period for evictions.

Legislation to extend the protection, along with other emergency measures such as changes to how courts operate, by six months will be presented to parliament next week.

Sturgeon said: “Although we are on that journey back to normality and some measures are no longer needed, we are not quite there yet, so we need to keep some of these in place for a bit longer.”

The Scottish Parliament extended the emergency law until September 30, 2021, but there is no eviction ban in areas that are in level two or lower.

But from January 22, 2021, if you live in an area under either coronavirus protection level three or four, Sheriff Officers cannot currently evict you.