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A major relaxation of lockdown regulations in Scotland is expected at the end of next week, the First Minister has revealed today.
She told MSPs this afternoon that she is preparing Scotland to enter ‘phase one’ of a new five-phase ‘route map’ which was published by the government today.
Phase one is expected to start once the three-week review into the current restrictions has taken place on Thursday May 28.
Mrs Sturgeon said phase one would allow:
- More outdoor activity – sitting and sunbathing in parks and open areas
- Permission to meet people outside from one other household in ‘small numbers’ provided that everyone remain two-metres apart
- The restriction on entering someone else’s household will remain in place
- The restart of ‘non-contact’ leisure activities such as golf, tennis, bowls and fishing – subject to hygiene and physical distancing
- Permission to travel – preferably by walking or cycling – to a location ‘near’ your local community for recreation
- People will still be expected to stay ‘within or close to’ their own local area
- Waste and recycling services to resume and outdoor businesses such as agriculture and forestry to restart
- The construction industry will be allowed to implement steps one and two of a six-step restart plan it has been discussing with government
- Takeaway and drive-thrus will not be ‘discouraged’ from reopening as long as they apply safe physical distancing for customers
- Outdoor retail outlets such as garden centres allowed to reopen
- Non-essential indoors shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs must remain closed in phase one
- A phased resumption of ‘some aspects’ of the criminal justice system
- A careful and gradual resumption of ‘paused’ NHS services
Mrs Sturgeon told MSPs: ‘These phase one measures, most of which have an outdoors focus are not in place yet, and let me stress that.
‘And they are dependent on us continuing to suppress the virus.
‘They will also be monitored carefully as they do take effect. However, we view them as a proportionate and suitably cautious set of first steps and I hope they will bring some improvements to people’s wellbeing and quality of life and start to get our economy moving again and start to steer us safely towards a new normality.’
Mrs Sturgeon added: ‘Not every phase one measure will necessarily be introduced immediately on the 28th of May, some may be introduced a few days after that and depending on the evidence, it is possible that some may have to be postponed, although I very much hope that won’t be the case.’
‘While the permitted reasons for being out of your house will increase, the default message during phase one will remain stay at home as much as possible,’ she said.