MSPs to vote on proposed five-tier coronavirus system

The plan, outlined by the First Minister last week, aims to control the spread of the virus in Scotland.

MSPs to vote on proposed five-tier coronavirus system Getty Images

MSPs are set to vote on a proposed five-tier system which aims to control coronavirus in Scotland. 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon outlined the proposed system last week, which if voted through would come into force on November 2.

The plan ranges from life being “closest to normal” without a vaccine at level zero to almost a full lockdown at level four, when non-essential shops would close.

Level two will be similar to current rules outside central Scotland, with level three likened to those inside the central belt, where pubs and restaurants are closed.

On Tuesday, MSPs will vote on whether to adopt the new proposals.

Under the plans, council areas in Scotland will each be given their own alert rating, with restrictions designed to match the risk of Covid spreading locally.

A leaked Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) document suggested North and South Lanarkshire are being considered for level four restrictions – although there are signs in the latest data that the situation may be stabilising there.

The whole country could be placed in the same level if necessary, the First Minister has warned. 

However, Nicola Sturgeon said on Tuesday that many parts of Scotland will not seen an “immediate change” to restrictions, should the five-tier system be approved.

She explained at the briefing: “For many places, there may be no immediate change. For an area to come down a level, we want to see a fall in the prevalence of the virus be sustained – not just seen on one or two days.

“That I think is important in giving business stability but also in giving people confidence that we are not going to take unnecessary risks when we start to lift restrictions.”

The latest figures, which saw the country record 1122 positive test results, were also revealed at the briefing.

The number of patients in hospital with coronavirus has risen to 1052, an increase of 36, with 90 people receiving treatment in intensive care. Another person confirmed to have the virus had died.

Ministers will decide later in the week what restriction levels will initially apply in certain parts of the country from Monday.

Under the proposed five-tier system, schools would not close, even under the strictest measures.

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