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Coronavirus / Isles to move to level zero on Saturday

First minister Nicola Sturgeon.

SHETLAND is to move into “level zero” Covid-19 restrictions from Saturday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced on Tuesday afternoon.

The latest easing of restrictions will see Scotland’s three main island groups enjoying greater liberty than mainland residents and comes after several weeks of negligible case numbers.

Sturgeon told parliament that Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles – which had been under level one restrictions since 17 May – were “continuing to report extremely low numbers” and in many cases “a higher than average proportion of adults” had been vaccinated.

Level zero will take effect from midnight on Saturday and means up to eight people from four households can meet indoors or up to 10 people in hospitality settings, where local licensing laws will now apply although physical distancing measures remain in place. Up to 200 people can attend weddings and funerals.

General rules around social distancing and face coverings remain in place.

“Again, though, as well as asking islanders to exercise continued care, I would remind anyone travelling to the islands to use a lateral flow test before doing so,” Sturgeon said. “That way you will minimise the risk of taking the virus to any of these communities.”

The announcement also saw Glasgow finally moving from level three to level two after some eight months where household visits were not permitted, while some mainland areas will remain in level two and others move to level one.

Nationwide cases have been rising in recent days, but Sturgeon said vaccines were “changing the game, and that means we can still be optimistic – very optimistic – about our chances of much more normality this summer”.

She added that more detailed work on “what we expect life beyond level zero to look like after greater normality returns” will be published shortly – with social distancing measures under review.

More details on what level zero is like can be found here.

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