This afternoon, Nicola Sturgeon will hold her third coronavirus briefing since campaigning for the Scottish Parliament elections began, and some early easing of restrictions could be announced.
At the first briefing to be held during the campaign, on March 30, the first minister said: “As things stand just now, I intend to give further updates at this time next Tuesday and on 20 April.”
That means today’s update is coming a week ahead of schedule.
In a tweet sent out this morning, the first minister suggested some early changes to the current lockdown timeline might be made.
She said: “I’ll report on progress & confirm we’re firmly on track for substantial re-opening of economy on 26 April.
“We’ve also been considering whether any earlier changes to support mental health & wellbeing are possible & I’ll update on that too.”
What is the background to this decision?
Scotland’s coronavirus statistics have been moving in a positive direction for the past few weeks.
After a concerning couple of weeks where case numbers appeared to have plateaued, they have now begun falling again, and yesterday fewer than 200 new cases were recorded in Scotland for the first time in seven months.
The country’s Covid test positivity rate has now been at 5% or below – considered the threshold for judging whether the spread of the virus is under control – since February 23.
There has also been a consistent downward trend in the number of people in hospital with the virus, with 154 patients yesterday compared to more than 500 a month ago.
The vaccine roll-out has also been a considerable success, with around 49% of Scotland’s population having received their first dose – despite the twin setbacks of a drop in supply and the UK medical regulator’s recommendation that under-30s are offered a different jab to the Oxford/AstraZeneca one.
Yesterday, 21,299 people were given their second dose and 11,145 received their first.
When and where can I watch the briefing?
Nicola Sturgeon’s briefing will begin at 12pm today.
You can watch it live on the BBC Scotland channel or follow it on our live blog.