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The Scotland government is to publish details later of a new five-tier alert system of Covid-19 restrictions.

 

The new system – which adds two levels to the three tiers used in England – will come into force from 2 November.

 

It will set out different levels of measures that can be applied either nationally or regionally, depending on the rate of infection across Scotland.

 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said this would provide clarity about rules and flexibility for different areas.

 

The new “strategic framework” will also include details of support for businesses hit by restrictions and a new testing strategy.

 

Temporary restrictions targeting the hospitality industry in the central belt of Scotland in particular have been extended to cover the gap until the new system comes into force.

 

Details of how it will work are to be published on Friday, but Ms Sturgeon has already revealed that it will feature five different levels.

 

The three tiers currently used in the English system – of “medium”, “high” and “very high” alert – will be broadly equivalent to the middle of the Scottish system.

 

Read full story on BBC news

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And another tier will be added at the top, featuring harsh restrictions similar to those imposed at the outset of the pandemic in March.Ms Sturgeon said: “When England published their [system] the chief medical officer in England at the time said he thought the top level was not enough to necessarily, in all circumstances, get the virus down. So we think we need one above that which is closer to a full lockdown if things got to be that serious.”Opposition parties were consulted while the new framework was being drawn up, and MSPs will put the broad principles to a vote when Holyrood return