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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Covid in Scotland: Latest headlines

    • Nicola Sturgeon says there is "no current evidence of an increase in blood clots" caused by the AstraZeneca vaccine
    • Chief medical officer Dr Gregor Smith says he remains "wholly confident" in the vaccine and there is no data to suggest a link between clots and the vaccine
    • A "slight increase" in cases over the last week in Scotland will be monitored carefully, says the first minister
    • Ms Sturgeon says she will give further information tomorrow on when we can expect restrictions to lift, including the "stay at home" instruction
    • She says room for manoeuvre is "limited" but will seek to set out changes from around the 5 April, late April, mid-May and beyond
    View more on twitter
    • A further 456 people have tested positive for Covid-19, 4.7% of the tests carried out yesterday
    • There are 447 people in hospital with recently confirmed Covid-19, a decrease of 14, and 40 in intensive care
    • No further deaths were reported in the last 24-hour period of people who tested positive in the last 28 days
    • As of 08:30 today, 1,908,991 people have received their first dose of the vaccine, and 161,945 people have had a second dose
    • Self-isolation for 10 days will remain in place for pupils who are a close contact of someone who tests positive

    That's all from us on the live page today. We'll be back tomorrow with the first minister's statement on the easing of restrictions. Stay safe and thanks for your company.

  2. Willie Rennie: School return 'hasn't been managed well'

    On the further return of schools, Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie says he is "sceptical about whether this week is really worth it".

    He says he is afraid the period before the Easter holidays "hasn’t been managed particularly well" and would have wanted further evidence from the impact of primary schools returning before bringing secondary pupils back.

    Willie Rennie

    However he says, contrary to Dr Gurdasani, he has not seen any evidence showing increased community transmission is "directly" linked with schools.

    On the forthcoming announcement in Holyrood tomorrow, Mr Rennie says he is keen to hear about what the thresholds will be for further easing of restrictions.

  3. School safety measures should be considered 'with urgency'

    Anas Sarwar

    Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar says we've got to take the concerns of Dr Gurdasani "very seriously" and consider further school safety measures "with urgency" - including better ventilation.

    He says anyone looking after children can see this lockdown is having a much harsher impact on children than the first and wants children to have as much "human contact" as possible.

    However he says the government has to make sure this is not done too quickly and should be kept under review.

    Mr Sarwar adds the vaccine cannot be thought of as the "silver bullet" and wants to see an increase in testing and more efficient tracing in order to achieve "true elimination".

  4. Opening schools without further safety measures 'negligent'

    Dr Deepti Gurdasani, of the Queen Mary University of London, tells the BBC One Scotland programme she believes opening schools without further mitigations in place was "negligent".

    She says caution "wasn't the reality" of the first minister's message and there "seems to be resistance" to acknowledging that schools are part of the community and are linked with an increase in community transmission.

    Dr Deepti Gurdasani

    Measures she would like to see in schools include more pupils wearing masks, better ventilation and a decrease in bubble sizes.

    "One measure by itself is not going to be sufficient," she says.

    On whether such measures could negatively impact children's learning experience, Dr Gurdasani said there is "no evidence of harms".

  5. Chief medical officer 'wholly confident' in AstraZeneca jab

    Gregor Smith
    Image caption: Gregor Smith says he is confident the vaccine is safe

    Ross Govans from STV asks the first minister whether she is concerned that the suspension of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab in some countries - amid concern about blood clots - could affect take-up in Scotland, and people’s confidence in the vaccine.

    Nicola Sturgeon says she can assure people she asks lots of questions about these things, and based on what she knows right now, people should feel as confident now to come forward and get the jab as they have been since start of the vaccination programme.

    "If the advice ever changes on that, I will be very straight with the public," says the first minister.

    The MHRA - the medicines regulator - is "very clear there is no cause for the suspension", she adds.

    Dr Gregor Smith, the chief medical officer, adds that he remains "wholly confident" in the vaccine and says it is important to state there has been "no causal link identified" between any of the incidents and the AstraZeneca vaccine.

  6. Vaccination programme to pick up pace

    Jamie McIvor

    BBC Scotland education correspondent

    Vaccination hub

    The vaccination programme in Scotland is expected to pick up pace this week.

    The first minister confirmed at the daily briefing that some 400,000 vaccinations were expected in the coming week – some will get their first jab, some will get their second.

    It will be interesting to watch just how fast progress is made offering a vaccine to all over 50s and all those with underlying health conditions.

    The aim is to offer everyone in these groups a jab by mid April.

    However, progress now appears steady;

    • 53% of those aged between 60 and 64 have now had a jab
    • 41% of those between 55 and 59
    • and 33% of those between 50 and 54

    Some practices are known to be hopeful that all over 50s on their books will be offered a vaccine by next week.

    In some parts of the country the proportions who have been vaccinated significantly exceed the national average – this is likely to because of logistics and demographics. For instance in the Western Isles, Shetland, Argyll and Bute and Dumfries and Galloway more than half the adult population has had a jab. These also happen to be areas where case numbers were already amongst the lowest.

  7. Case increase after school return 'not as great' as feared

    Lucy whyte question

    Lucy Whyte from BBC Scotland asks about the recent rise in cases as school pupils return to classrooms.

    The FM says we can't "rule out" an uptick in virus cases - however she says this is largely due to more movement of people in general.

    She says there are no easing of restrictions that are "neutral" and as soon as there is contact between people there is a risk of transmission increasing.

    She adds there is no plan to change the 10-day isolation period for people who catch the virus.

    Dr Gregor Smith adds the government was "always aware" that as schools went back there would be a rise in cases but that the latest increase "isn’t as great" as he had anticipated.

    He said the rise in cases is among working age people between 25-44 and that he was "not overly concerned" about the figures.

  8. 'Much more normality by the summer' - FM

    Nicola Sturgeon concludes the first part of her briefing by reminding everyone of the FACTS advice, particularly as we start to meet up with more people outside.

    The first minister says things are going in the right direction and if we stick with it, she is very hopeful we will have a "much greater degree of normality in our daily lives" by the summer.

    FACTS advice
  9. Date for lifting of 'stay at home' measure tomorrow

    Ms Sturgeon says her statement in Holyrood tomorrow will give further information on when we can expect restrictions to lift, including the "stay at home" instruction.

    She says room for manoeuvre is "limited" but taking that into account she will seek to set out changes from around the 5 April, late April, mid-May and beyond.

    This will include "key milestones", she says, on the reopening of shops and hospitality as well as further relaxations on household meetings.

  10. Hospitality leaders urge levels rethink

    A barman serves drinks

    Hospitality leaders have urged the Scottish government to change its Covid lockdown levels to stop businesses failing.

    An industry group has submitted its own version of the system to ministers.

    The document, seen by the BBC, urges ministers to mirror the plans for England - extending opening times and naming dates.

    The Scottish government said lockdown exit will be driven by data, not dates.

    Five of Scotland's main hospitality trade bodies said if changes are implemented, 60,000 jobs in the sector could be saved.

    Read more here.

  11. Sturgeon thanks parents and school staff

    The first minister says she hopes the next few days will exciting ones for pupils as they see classmates and teachers for the first time in months.

    Ms Sturgeon wants to express how grateful she is to all parents and school staff for their efforts in the period since pupils were last in the classroom.

    She is well aware, she says, that home learning will continue until Easter.

    But she hopes today's phased return shows we are returning to "some degree of normality".

  12. 'Slight increase' in cases will be 'carefully monitored' - FM

    Ms Sturgeon says we have seen a slight increase in cases over the last week in Scotland, which will be monitored carefully.

    The first minister says this provides a reminder that there is no room for complacency and the government's room for manoeuvre is limited when it comes to easing restrictions.

    school pupils

    The priority is ensuring young people can return to school safely, Ms Sturgeon adds, pointing to the latest milestone in that process today, with the return of later-year primary pupils and secondary school pupils on a part-time basis.

    That is intended to help "prepare and re-acclimatise" young people before a full return to school after the Easter holidays, she says.

  13. 'No current evidence' of increase in blood clots from Oxford vaccine

    The first minister says she wants to take the opportunity to "address directly" concerns that have arisen over the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

    Countries including the Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland have paused the use of this drug because over fears about possible side effects.

    However Ms Sturgeon says the Medicines and Health Care Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has confirmed there is "no current evidence of an increase in blood clots" caused by the vaccine.

    She says the agency will continue to monitor the situation carefully and the Scottish government still wants to encourage people to come forward for the vaccine.

    As of 08:30 a total of 1,908,991 people have received the first dose, an increase of 20,294, and 161,945 have so far received the second.

  14. BreakingA further 456 positive cases recorded in Scotland

    Nicola Sturgeon begins her briefing by outlining the latest figures.

    The first minister confirms a further 456 people have tested positive for Covid-19, 4.7% of the tests carried out yesterday.

    This takes the total number of positive cases in Scotland to 210,008.

    Breakdown of cases in health board areas:

    ·NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde: 138

    ·NHS Lanarkshire:76

    ·NHS Lothian: 70

    The remaining cases are spread across nine other health board areas.

    There are 447 people in hospital with recently confirmed Covid-19, a decrease of 14, and 40 in intensive care, the same as yesterday.

    No deaths were reported in the past 24 hours of people who tested positive in the last 28 days, though reporting numbers are always low on weekends, the first minister notes.

    The total number of deaths by that measurement remains at 7,510.

  15. COMING UP: First minister's briefing

    Nicola Sturgeon

    Nicola Sturgeon will begin her daily briefing imminently.

    We can expect to hear more about the return of more children to school today and perhaps some indication of what further restrictions may be eased by the first minister when she confirms a timetable tomorrow.

    Ms Sturgeon will be joined at the briefing by chief medical officer Dr Gregor Smith.

    You can follow the briefing right here on this live page or watch or listen by clicking one of tabs above for BBC One Scotland, the BBC Scotland Channel or Radio Scotland.

    Stay with us...

  16. More children return to the classroom


    More pupils are returning to school in Scotland in the latest phase of lockdown easing.

    Children in primaries four to seven are joining their younger classmates who were the first to go back to school on 22 February.

    All high school students will begin face-to-face lessons on a part time basis but many will continue to do some learning at home until after Easter.

    They will have to wear masks and observe distancing rules in classrooms.

    The reduction in capacity means some children in S1-S3 will be in school for less than two hours a week.

    Read more here.

  17. Evidence does not suggest AstraZeneca jab linked to clots, MHRA says

    A woman has her Covid vaccine

    People should still get their Covid vaccine despite several EU countries pausing use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab amid concern about blood clots, a UK medicines regulator has said.

    The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said evidence "does not suggest" the jab causes clots.

    The Netherlands has become the latest country to suspend use of the jab following reports of serious clotting.

    But the World Health Organization says there is no reason to stop using it.

    Dutch officials said the move was precautionary following reports from Denmark and Norway about side effects including blood clots.

    Manufacturer AstraZeneca has said there is no evidence of a link between the two.

    Read more here.

  18. Covid in Scotland: Latest headlines

    • More pupils are returning to school in Scotland today in the latest phase of lockdown easing
    • Children in primaries four to seven are going back full-time, while high-school students are returning part-time
    • A teachers' union has claimed sending secondary children back was a "political decision" and not for pupils' benefit
    • Hospitality leaders have urged the Scottish government to change its lockdown levels to stop businesses failing
    • Nicola Sturgeon is set to confirm on Tuesday the timetable for easing further restrictions in areas such as hospitality and retail
    • People should still get their Covid vaccine despite several EU countries pausing use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab amid concern about blood clots, the UK medicines regulator has said