Nicola Sturgeon is due to announce whether parts of the west of Scotland will move into the toughest level of coronavirus restrictions today. 

On Monday, The First Minister said that rates of the disease in Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Lanarkshire health board areas are “stubbornly high”.

The First Minister suggested a “limited period” of the strictest measures – moving from Level 3 to Level 4 – could allow an easing around Christmas.

She said the prevalence of the virus is causing concern and could mean regional hospital and intensive care services may not be able to cope as winter continues.

“Stubbornly high prevalence means that we might have less flexibility to offer some limited and careful easing of restrictions over the Christmas period which we are very keen to do,” she said.

“Moving to Level 4 restrictions for a limited period in some areas, while not a decision we would ever take lightly because of the wider economic and social impact, would help us to address both of these concerns.”

When is it?

Ms Sturgeon is expected to make a statement to the Scottish Parliament at 2.20pm.

Dunfermline Press:

How can I watch it?

The Scottish Parliament will be showing her statement live on Scottish Parliament TV here.

Alternatively, it will be broadcast on BBC One Scotland and BBC Scotland.

You can also follow all the changes on our live blog.

What is to be expected? 

Level four is the closest to a full lockdown, similar to the one introduced in March.

Under the toughest restrictions, non-essential shops will be closed. This includes bars, pubs, restaurants, visitor attractions, leisure centres and gyms. 

Hairdressers, barbers, beauticians and any other close contact retail services would also close, as would all leisure and entertainment premises.

However, schools would remain open full-time.

Socialising would not be allowed in people's homes, but six people from two households could still meet outdoors and there would be no limit on outdoor exercise.

However, people would be advised to minimise the number of meetings with people from other households, and to follow social distancing guidance.

Those living under level four restrictions would be advised to avoid any unnecessary travel out of the area, and to keep journeys within the area to an absolute minimum.

The First Minister also told the briefing that restrictions in at least one local authority area will be eased, although she did not say where.

It is understood that Edinburgh is to remain in teir three for the time being. 

The announcement comes after Deputy First Minister John Swinney said on Sunday that increased restrictions in the west are “not inevitable”.