Lockdown restrictions will be relaxed across most of Scotland next week, Nicola Sturgeon confirmed.
The level of coronavirus protection will be lowered from Monday, allowing indoor mixing between separate households and pubs and restaurants to serve customers inside.
While most of the country will move to Level 2, Moray will remain at Level 3 due to an increase in cases and hospital admissions.
At level 2, four people from two households can meet indoors, with cuddles and overnight stays allowed, and travel within Scotland and the rest of the UK is allowed.
Cafes, pubs and restaurants are allowed to serve food and alcohol indoors until 10:30 p.m. for groups of up to six people from up to three households.
Cinemas, concert halls, theaters and other entertainment facilities can reopen with social distancing requirements for up to 100 people per event.
People will be allowed to attend sporting and other outdoor seated events, with a maximum capacity of 500 people.
The Scottish Prime Minister has said freedom to travel will not include Moray, where comings and goings will be limited to “permitted purposes only”.
The number of cases in Moray is almost four times that of the rest of the country, Ms Sturgeon said.
“It is in this context that, unless the situation materially improves over the next few days, it simply would not be safe or reasonable to ease the restrictions from Monday,” she said. declared.
Making the announcement at a government press briefing, Ms Sturgeon hailed the ‘great success’ of the vaccination program to bring down coronavirus figures in Scotland.
The number of cases has fallen over the past three weeks, from an average of 226 per day to 177 per day, she said, adding that a slight increase across the country was mainly due to the Moray epidemic.
“The situation in Moray, as well as the emergence of new variants on a global scale, should remind us all that the virus remains a real threat,” she said.
Additional reports by agencies