NICOLA Sturgeon will set out a four-phase blueprint for Scotland to begin easing lockdown restrictions today.
Scotland has now been in full lockdown for almost three months and has refused to follow the Prime Minister’s relaxation of restrictions last week.
Ms Sturgeon will make her speech at 12.30pm today, after she said she did not have confidence in Boris Johnson’s decision to allow Brits more freedom.
The Scottish leader has insisted all the evidence pointed towards having to continue with the same rules and while England shifted towards a “stay alert” message, Scotland continued stay-at-home orders.
Ms Sturgeon was highly critical of the new “stay alert” messaging, calling it “imprecise and vague”.
She said: “Our assessment of the evidence leads me to conclude that the lockdown must be extended at this stage.
“We know that progress remains fragile, our estimates suggest there are still significant amounts of people in Scotland infected with this virus.
“Any significant easing of restrictions at this stage would be very, very risky indeed.”
People in Scotland have not been allowed to spend leisure time outside and are only allowed to travel locally for exercise.
Those measures were eased by Mr Johnson last week when he encouraged anyone who couldn’t work from home to head back to work, and said people could travel to beauty spots and have picnics.
The PM’s statement caused a fracturing within the UK as devolved administrations refused to follow England’s lead.
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford gave people a stern warning not to travel to Wales – saying they would be fined if they made non-essential travel.
Ms Sturgeon is expected to lay out when Scottish children will be able to head back to schools.
She has previously warned they may not be back behind desks until after the summer holidays.
When asked about plans for English schools to reopen on June 1, Ms Sturgeon said she did not think it was the right thing to do.
She said: “I cannot and should not comment on whether that is appropriate for England … but I do know, looking at the evidence I have now, I could not put my hand on my heart and say that would be a safe thing to do in Scotland.”
English school kids are due to head back to classroom on June 1, starting with reception, followed by year one and year six.