Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that lockdown restrictions could be eased earlier than anticipated following 'positive' data.

The First Minister announced the second phase of easing restrictions could come sooner than April 26 if data allows it.

She was updating MSPs in Holyrood today, just one week after confirming the proposed rule changes.

Here are five things from today's update that you need to know:

1. Lockdown easing

Nicola Sturgeon says the Scottish Government is considering if Scotland can accelerate the exit from lockdown.

It comes amid current positive data, which has seen daily case numbers remain under 1,000 for the last month (with the exception of one day).

The Gazette: Nicola Sturgeon has been criticised for the pace of the Scottish Government's proposed route out of lockdown

She confirmed Scotland is now reporting an average of 657 new Covid-19 cases each day, which is the lowest number since the first week in October.

The First Minister said that, between now and April 26, the Scottish Government will consider if the data allows them to bring forward any relaxation of the rules.

2. Schools

From March 15, all children in P4-7 will go back to school on a full-time basis.

Nicola Sturgeon said that the return would go ahead unless new evidence or new circumstances "force us to reconsider".

It was also confirmed that all primary school children will also be able to return to regulated childcare, including after school and breakfast clubs.

The Gazette: Scotstoun Primary return to school  Picture: Robert Perry

A phased return to secondary school from March 15 is also being implemented. Ms Sturgeon said there is a "clear expectation that all secondary school pupils will be back in school on a full-time basis after the Easter holidays".

She added: "However, it is the intention that all secondary school pupils will return to spend some time in school from 15 March until the Easter break."

Face to face lessons will be a priority for secondary school pupils in years 4 to 6 who are taking national qualifications.

3. Changes to Level 4 restrictions

The First Minister said she hopes to be able to confirm some changes to the current restrictions in place across Scotland next week.

After next week, she said she is scheduled to set out a "firmer timetable" for the period after April 26.

4. Daily figures

In the last 24 hours, 542 people tested positive for the virus, which marks 4.4% of the total tests yesterday. This pushes the total to 203,012.

Sadly, 33 more deaths were confirmed, which puts the death toll at 7,164.

As of midnight last night, 784 people were in hospital, with 71 in intensive care.

And as of 8.30am this morning, 1,634,361 people had received their first dose of the vaccine, with 84,445 second doses administered.

5. Newborn guidance

Guidance is being clarified on an issue which the First Minister says is "directly relevant to parents of newborn children".

Currently, there are a number of essential purposes which enable Scots to go into each other's homes, for example, essential care.

The Gazette:

Guidance is being amended today to make it clear that essential purposes include support for the welfare and well-being of a parent of a child who is under the age of one.

Nicola Sturgeon said: "I hope that gives clarity - and enables vital support - for parents of very young children."