Delay 'likely'

Soaring Covid cases may push back ‘Freedom Day’

Woman shopper looking at masks

Mask wearing may continue for some time (pic: Terry Murden)

Rising Covid-19 cases could see a two-week delay to the planned easing of restrictions.

England is due to lift lockdown on 21 June and Scotland on 28 June, but the number of people with Covid-19 has shot up by 75%.

There is also growing speculation that social distancing and the wearing of face coverings will continue amid concerns the Indian variant is fuelling a surge in cases.

The move comes as millions of people in Scotland have moved into lower restriction levels despite an overall rise in coronavirus cases being identified.

Many areas in the north and south of mainland Scotland moved from level two to level one at midnight.

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Glasgow’s move to level two allows people to meet in each other’s homes for the first time in nine months and drink alcohol in pubs and restaurants.

Level zero restrictions apply to Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles.

However, 13 council areas with a combined population of 2.3 million people in the central belt of the country, including Edinburgh, would stay in level two rather than moving down to level one as had been planned.

The whole country had been due to move to level zero on 28 June but the prevalence of the Delta variant, first detected in India, may push the date back.

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