Sturgeon spells out possible July reopening

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

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The First Minister has today announced ‘indicative dates’ for the reopening of the hospitality industry, hairdressers and mixing of households.

However, Nicola Sturgeon stressed that the changes and dates are not yet guaranteed and remained ‘contingent’ on scientific and public health advice.

Despite changes elsewhere in the UK, Scotland will stick with physical distancing of two metres.

On July 2, she said she would provide a further update ahead of the proposed dates for reopening of the hospitality industry.

The First Minister said: ‘I hope details announced today will provide people and businesses with more certainty in their forward planning.

‘But let me be clear that each step on this path depends on us continuing to beat the virus back. That is why we must do everything in our power to avoid steps being reversed.

‘The central point in all of this is the virus has not – and it will not – go away of its own accord. It will pose a real and significant threat to us for some time to come.

‘Maintaining our progress also means all of us abiding by public health guidance.

‘Wearing face coverings in enclosed spaces, avoiding crowded places, washing our hands and cleaning surfaces regularly, maintaining physical distancing, agreeing to immediately self-isolate and get a test if we have symptoms – all of these basic protections matter now more than ever as we all get out and about a bit more.’

Indicative phase two dates

3 July – Five-mile travel distance limit for leisure will be lifted
3 July – Self-catering holiday accommodation will be permitted, providing it requires no shared facilities between households
6 July – Outdoor hospitality can commence subject to a review by the Scientific Advisory Group

Indicative phase three dates

10 July – People can meet in extended groups outdoors with physical distancing
10 July – Households can meet indoors with up to a maximum of two households with physical distancing
13 July – Organised outdoor contact sport can resume for children and young people, subject to guidance
13 July – All dental practices begin to see registered patients for non-aerosol routine care, and work will begin to return aerosol generating procedures to practice safely
13 July – Increasing capacity within community optometry practices for emergency and essential eye care
13 July – Non-essential shops inside shopping centres can reopen, subject to the Scientific Advisory Group review
15 July – All childcare providers can open subject to individual provider arrangements
15 July – All holiday accommodation will be permitted
15 July – Indoor hospitality can reopen, subject to the Scientific Advisory Group review
15 July – Hairdressers and barbers can reopen with enhanced hygiene measures
15 July – Museums, galleries, cinemas, monuments, libraries will reopen with physical distancing and other measures, such as ticketing in advance

Reaction

Donald Cameron, MSP for the Highlands and Islands, said in response that it amounted to a ‘delay’ in the reopening of Scotland’s hospitality and tourism industry.

Mr Cameron, the Scottish Conservative Shadow Finance Secretary, said: ‘Nicola Sturgeon’s delay is costing us jobs and putting businesses at risk.

‘We can only hope that when the cost of this delay becomes apparent to the SNP Government, they will U-turn just as they did on reopening schools.

‘In the meantime, the hospitality industry in the rest of the UK is making up for lost time while we are left watching the summer slip by, along with our hopes for a quick recovery.’

Marc Crothall, chief executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, said the announcement offered ‘huge comfort’ to thousands of businesses.

He said: ‘Much of our self-catering sector can start welcoming guests from July 3 – almost two weeks ahead of the now confirmed reopening date of July 15 which is great news.

‘Business who can provide outdoor hospitality will also be pleased to have a firm date for opening of July 6, as will those in the supply chain.

‘This unlocks major components of our tourism sector and offers Scots the opportunity to plan summer experiences closer to home and boost our local economies.

‘We are also delighted at the announcement that all accommodation and indoor hospitality can open from July 15 subject to guidance and restrictions and that our museums and monuments can also reopen from this date.’

‘We appreciate the First Minister’s efforts in unlocking tourism and look forward to what we hope will be further positive announcements in the days to come.’