Nicola Sturgeon this week outlined a series of lockdown changes as Scotland looks to achieving more normality.

The First Minister said she gave a “significant degree of clarity” for the period up until mid-May, but admitted it would be harder to give much solid information after then.

However, in an optimistic statement, she told MSPs that it is the Scottish Government’s “hope and ambition” to move Scotland to Level 1 from early June, and then “at least” Level 0 by the end of that month.

So what is Level 0 and what does it mean for rules?

While stressing that getting to that point would be a “massive improvement” on where we are now, the First Minister did accept that the would be “some restrictions” even then.

Currently, under the Scottish Government website, Level 0 means that things like social distancing and mask wearing will still be enforced.

Gatherings indoors are limited to eight people from three households, with outdoor meetings permitted for a maximum of 15 people from five households.

Nightclubs are still closed, while working from home remains the primary advice.


When might rules end?

The First Minister said “we hope to be able to get even beyond” the Level 0 restrictions, adding “we will be assessing the situation on an ongoing basis, with a view to restoring as much normality as possible.”

She told MSPs that their “increasing expectation” is the vaccination programme, coupled with the effective use of Test and Protect and good hygiene measures, should allow us to keep the virus “under much greater control”.

She continued: “And that this will allow us to enjoy many of the things that we took for granted before the pandemic – for example, normal family gatherings where we can hug our loved ones, sporting events, gigs and nightclubs.

“For me to set out a precise date for all of that right now would involve plucking it out of thin air - and I’d be doing it to make my life easier, not yours.

“I am not going to do that. But I do believe that over the coming weeks - as more and more adults are vaccinated - it will be possible to set a firmer date by which many of these normal things will be possible.

“And I am optimistic that this date will be over the summer.”


She added: “I know I will not be the only one now looking forward - with a real sense of hope - to hugging my family this summer.

“I know how difficult the last few months have been. And I will never underestimate – or stop being grateful for – the hard, painful sacrifices that everyone has made.

“As we move into the summer an even greater degree of normality - hopefully something much closer to actual normality, with the ability to hug those we love - will become possible. All of that should fill us with optimism.

“This is certainly the most hopeful I have felt about the situation for a long time.”