NICOLA Sturgeon is set to unveil the Scottish Government’s Covid exit plan, but she’ll warn the public that any phased return to normality will need to be sustainable.

The First Minister has stressed that she’s keen to keep transmission of the virus low, and avoid having to place Scotland back into a stay-at-home lockdown.

She said the plans for easing restrictions would be driven by data rather than by hard and fast dates.

In today’s announcement, we’ve been told to expect “an indicative order of priority and proposed phases”.

The initial plan is for Scotland to move back to the four level restrictions that were in place before Christmas. Everyone will start at level 4 before a return to geographically variable levels. There’s to be a three week gap between each of the phases.

The Scottish Government say their immediate priorities will be getting more kids back into school, followed by sports activities for young people and limited social interaction for adults.

Speaking ahead of the announcement, she said:“We know we cannot continue in lockdown indefinitely and we must plan a gradual phased return to as much normality as possible.

“The restrictions we have put in place are difficult for individuals, families and businesses across Scotland, but they are working – case numbers have decreased, the numbers of people in hospital and needing intensive care are coming down and we are now seeing fewer vulnerable people dying from this horrible illness. This means we can begin to consider how, carefully and gradually, we can return to some normality in Scotland.”

Speaking at the briefing, she said her roadmap would be “broadly similar” to Johnson’s exit plan for England.

She said: “There is a limit to how much it is sensible to diverge in the circumstances we’re facing in common but clearly we will make our own judgments about the particular order and the particular timing of that because the data is not identical in each of the four nations.”

The announcement is expected at around 2.10pm.

It will be broadcast on BBC One Scotland, BBC Scotland, and Scottish Parliament TV, which you can watch online here.

You can also follow live updates on The National’s coronavirus blog.