Eleven council regions in Scotland with the toughest coronavirus restrictions will drop from level 4 to level one starting Friday – and major tests are canceled for 2021.
Education Secretary John Sweeney told Holyrood that high school and advanced students were canceled for the next year, adding that pupils had “lost a great deal of time learning.”
His statement came shortly after Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that several areas of Scotland would change levels after reviewing the lockdown restrictions.
These changes will allow retail stores and unnecessary hospitality, such as cafes, restaurants, stores and hairdressers, to reopen two weeks before Christmas.
The regions to be placed at Tier 3 later this week are East Ayrshire, East Donbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow City, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Danpartonshire and West Lothian.
Non-essential stores can reopen from 6am on Friday. The remaining changes will take effect from 6 PM that day.
Level 3 hospitality companies must close their doors by 6 PM, which means new Level 3 areas will have to wait until Saturday to welcome customers again for food and non-alcoholic beverages.
In total, 16 territories in Scotland will be eased, while 16 others will remain at the same level as they are currently.
Inverclyde, Falkirk and Angus will move from level 3 to level 2, and Dumfries, Galway and the Scottish Borders will move from level 2 to level 1.
Professor Hassan said that pupils lost their teaching time at the end of the last school year, when schools were still closed.
He added, “It has now been exacerbated by the disruption that many have experienced, as they have had to isolate themselves, have had to learn from home or even see their school closed.
“It is not possible to get around the fact that a large percentage of our poorest pupils lost much more than other students’ teaching time.”
Ms Sturgeon, a spokesperson in the Scottish Parliament, said she had considered moving Edinburgh from Level 3 to Level 2 but the proximity to the Christmas period nullified that decision.
However, the situation will be re-evaluated next week.
Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire will remain at Level 2, with Corona Virus Cases that fell last week.
“In making decisions today, we had to think about the potential overall impact of moving to a lower level of restrictions around the same time that the Christmas period starts in earnest,” said Ms. Sturgeon.
This led us to a proportionate but cautious set of conclusions.
Current travel restrictions across Scotland will remain in effect, with the Prime Minister saying these “remain a vital part of keeping the country safe through a targeted and proportionate approach to restrictions”.
She said, “No one in the Level 3 area, or even on Friday, Level 4 area, should travel outside their local authority area, except for very specific purposes.
No one should travel to Tier 3 or 4 areas except for essential purposes.
“I fear that this means, for example, that people outside of Glasgow should not travel there for Christmas shopping when the retail store opens on Friday.”
Such as People have the Pfizer / BioNTech injection for the first time today outside of a clinical trial, Ms. Sturgeon said that the vaccination program marked the “beginning of the end” for Covid-19 Pandemic in Scotland.
She said: “Today – the day the first people were vaccinated against COVID – is a day of optimism for all of us.
“But it represents, hopefully, the beginning of the end of the epidemic. The end is not quite with us yet.
“So we should all keep thinking about how to keep ourselves and each other safe in the meantime.”
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