Nicola Sturgeon set to announce 2m rule decision

Nicola Sturgeon has said Scots must not “drop our guard” against coronavirus ahead of a news briefing where she is expected to announce the Scottish Government's decision on the 2 metre social distancing rule.

Ms Sturgeon will make her statement during her daily news briefing from St Andrew's House in Edinburgh, around 12.30pm today (Thursday, July 2).

In a tweet this morning, the First Minister reiterated her administration's health advice, urging Scots to stick to the current Covid-19 safety measures.

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Ms Sturgeon said: “We mustn’t drop our guard. Please keep following the advice on face coverings, avoiding crowded places, cleaning hands, physical distancing and testing/self isolating if you have symptoms.”

Many of Scotland’s key independent restaurant and pub businesses have called for a 1 metre rule for social distancing in a bid to kick-start the industry and save jobs in the hospitality sector.

On Tuesday, June 23, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new social distancing rules in England allowing people to stand “one metre plus” away from anyone not in their household.

Scotland did not immediately follow England in cutting the 2m social distance rule, with Ms Sturgeon saying that there would be no decision on whether or not to relax the rule until her Scientific Advisory Group had examined the evidence.

The First Minister is due to receive updated scientific advice ahead of today’s news briefing – and this will form the basis of her decision.

Social distancing has been a key factor in driving down cases of coronavirus.Social distancing has been a key factor in driving down cases of coronavirus.
Social distancing has been a key factor in driving down cases of coronavirus.

In a previous statement on June 18, Ms Sturgeon said: “Let me be clear that the advice and evidence we have at this time supports physical distancing at 2 metres. And we know that while there are no absolutes – and we should not see this in isolation - the shorter the distance, the greater the risk of transmission.

“So I will not change this guidance without rigorous consideration and appropriate assurance.

“However, I have asked our advisers to consider whether there are particular settings and circumstances in which, with additional mitigations, it might be possible in future to recommend a distance of 1 or 1.5 metres. I hope to also have this advice within two weeks and will report on it then.

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“But let me reiterate that, at this stage, the advice is unchanged; you should continue to maintain two metres distance from people in households other than your own.”

There has also been speculation the First Minister will announce that face coverings are to be made compulsory in shops.

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