Changes to COVID-19 protection levels

Fife, Perth & Kinross and Angus move to Level 3.

Three council areas are to move up a protection level as cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to rise in their areas.

Fife, Perth & Kinross and Angus local authority areas will move from Level 2 - where they have been since the new levels system was announced - to Level 3 with the change coming into effect from 6am on Friday 13 November.

All other local authority protection levels are unchanged.

Within Level 1, those living in Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles will, from Friday, be able to meet one other household inside their homes, up to a maximum of six people. Guidance will issue for anyone who travels to the mainland to avoid in-home socialising for a period after their return.

Speaking in parliament this afternoon, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said there was no immediate requirement to move any local authorities into Level 4 – the highest level – but that this was being kept under strict review.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“The sacrifices everyone is making are hard - and they feel never-ending. But they are helping. They have made a difference, and they are saving lives. There is no doubt that the restrictions we have put in place have dramatically slowed the spread of the virus.

“But hospital admissions are still too high. The number of new cases we are seeing – more than 1,000 a day on average – is also too high. And we cannot be sure that we are seeing a sustained fall in cases.

“As I have said repeatedly in recent days, a rising or even plateauing rate of infection is not a stable position. We want to see a decline in cases. And so we will be monitoring the situation carefully in the days ahead.

“In light of the situation I have just outlined, it would clearly not be prudent to ease restrictions today.”

The First Minister again stressed the importance of travel restrictions in bringing down the infection rate of the virus. Those in Levels 3 and 4 should not travel outside their local authority area unless travelling for essential reasons such as work, healthcare, or caring responsibilities, while those in a Level 1 or 2, should not be going into a Level 3 or Level 4 council area, except for those same essential purposes.

She added that these will remain in guidance over the next week but preparation for regulations will continue in the event they are required to be put into law.


Level allocations from 6am Friday 13 November

Level 1:

  • Highland
  • Moray
  • Western Isles
  • Orkney
  • Shetland

Level 2:

  • Aberdeenshire
  • Aberdeen
  • Scottish Borders
  • Dumfries & Galloway
  • Argyll & Bute

Level 3:

  • Fife
  • Angus
  • Perth & Kinross
  • Inverclyde
  • East Dunbartonshire
  • West Dunbartonshire
  • Renfrewshire
  • East Renfrewshire
  • City of Glasgow
  • South Ayrshire
  • East Ayrshire
  • North Ayrshire
  • Stirling
  • Falkirk
  • Clackmannanshire
  • City of Edinburgh
  • Midlothian
  • West Lothian
  • East Lothian
  • Dundee
  • North Lanarkshire
  • South Lanarkshire

The assessment of what level of protection should be applied to each local authority is broadly based on an analysis of five key indicators:

  • number of positive COVID-19 cases per hundred thousand people over the last week
  • percentage of positive tests
  • forecast for new cases in the weeks ahead
  • capacity of local hospitals
  • capacity of local intensive care facilities

These factors are assessed alongside the advice and recommendations of local public health officials, National Incident Management Team, the Scottish Government’s chief clinical and policy advisors, and consideration of local circumstances, such as: specific COVID-19 outbreaks; travel and work patterns; and the extent to which health services are provided by neighbouring health boards. Final decisions are based on all of these factors.
Alongside a table setting out the levels, a detailed analysis paper has also been published setting out the Scottish Government’s assessment and overall decision for each local authority.

Find out more about the COVID protection levels and what you can and cannot do at each level.

The five-level strategic framework aims to tackle COVID-19 with measures strong enough to reduce virus prevalence while proportionate to the scale of the problem in different parts of the country - and in a way that minimises, as far as possible, the other harms caused by the pandemic.


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