Nicola Sturgeon update: when the First Minister is speaking today - and what to expect

The First Minister is set to provide an update on the loosening of Covid restrictions this afternoon

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Scotland took its latest step out of Covid restrictions on Monday with outdoor events given the green light to go ahead

And now the country waits with bated breath to see if First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will ease restrictions further.

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The leader has been pressed by opposition leaders to further loosen restrictions with cases of Covid appearing to decline across the United Kingdom.

What time is the Nicola Sturgeon update?

Nicola Sturgeon will address the public at 2pm later today.

How can I watch the update?

You can watch Nicola Sturgeon’s update on Scottish Parliament TV later today.

BBC News 24 will also likely host live coverage of the leader’s speech.

What will she say?

It is anticipated that the First Minister will reveal if limits on indoor events and restrictions on hospitality will be lifted from next Monday.

Sturgeon has indicated that she is cautiously optimistic that restrictions will continue to be eased.

Earlier this week she said: “Looking at that data right now, we’ve got reasons to continue to be cautiously optimistic that we’re turning the corner on this Omicron wave.

“That’s because people have responded magnificently, they’ve behaved in a way that’s helped stem to some extent the transmission of Omicron and we took sensible, balanced, proportionate steps.”

What is the opposition saying?

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said the current rules-based approach should be phased out in favour of public health advice.

From January 31, the party is calling for an end to business restrictions and an end to the existing guidance on household mixing and social distancing.

It said the vaccine passport scheme, which Ms Sturgeon is considering extending further, should be scrapped, face masks should no longer be used in schools and guidance on working from home should be phased out.

It is likely the First Minister will reiterate that there is still need for precautions to be in place to protect the NHS and the vulnerable in our society.