FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced plans to hold a national silence to mark the upcoming anniversary of Scotland going into its first lockdown one year ago.

Addressing MSPs in parliament on Tuesday, Sturgeon announced how the Scottish Government plans to mark the day on March 23.

She said: “This Saturday will be the anniversary of the first confirmed death in Scotland of someone with Covid.

“The Scottish Government has been in contact with a number of organisations to discuss how we can best mark that day, and on 22 March I will meet representatives of UK Covid Families for Justice.

“Current plans for March 23 include a national silence.

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"We are also discussing how communities can be supported to develop their own commemorative activities over the coming year, as part of longer-term plans for remembrance.

“I will set out more detail of all of this over the next fortnight.”

The National:

It comes as the First Minister revealed that Scots will be able to meet in bigger groups from Friday.

Sturgeon said four people from two households will now be able to meet outdoors from Friday.

For children aged between 12 and 17, outdoor meetings will also be limited to four people, but these can be from up to four households.

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The First Minister also said that while travel restrictions cannot be lifted for adults, they will be eased slightly for children taking part in sport where their club may be “a bit outside” their council area.

Outdoor, non-contact sports for adults in groups of up to 15 will also be able to start again from Friday, Sturgeon said.

She added that the Scottish Government “will not hesitate” to ease restrictions earlier if data supports it.

The First Minister told MSPs on Tuesday: “If the data allows us to relax more restrictions more quickly than we have previously indicated, we will not hesitate to do so.

“I’m well aware of just how difficult continued restrictions are – and I know that they get harder rather than easier to bear, as time goes on.

“I also know – because I feel this too – that the progress on vaccination makes us even more impatient to reach the end of this ordeal as quickly as possible.

“But I am certain that easing restrictions too quickly would be a mistake that we would regret.”