Dates for Scotland’s path out of lockdown

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The First Minister has this afternoon set out some of the landmark dates when Scotland may start to progress ‘cautiously’ out of lockdown.

With the caveat that at this stage the dates still remain ‘indicative’ and are dependent on data, Nicola Sturgeon said there would be a progressive easing of level four restrictions with intervals of ‘at least’ three weeks.

She said: ‘It is, of course, important for me to stress that all of this depends on us continuing to suppress the virus now and continuing to accept some trade-offs for a period, for example international travel.

‘I am very optimistic that we can make good progress of returning more normality to our lives and the economy.’

She said that in the coming weeks, if the ‘data allows and positive trends continue,’ the government would seek to ‘accelerate’ the easing of the restrictions.

Early March

Restrictions eased on care home visiting.

From March 15

The rest of primary schools year P4-P7 and more ‘senior phase’ secondary pupils back in the classroom.

Restarting non-contact outdoor group sports for 12-to-17-year-olds.

An aim to increase the limit on outdoor mixing between households to four people from a maximum of two households, compared to now (two people from two households).

From April 5 (Easter Monday)

The ‘hope and expectation’ is that the stay-at-home restriction will be lifted.

Any final phase of school return would then follow.

Communal worship will also, ‘we hope’, restart around 5th of April, the First Minister said, but with restricted numbers to begin with.

It may be that communal worship is allowed to start earlier than April 5 with Easter and Passover in mind, she said.

Restrictions on household gatherings are expected to be eased for April 5 – to allow six people from two households to meet together.

Reopening of retail would start by an extension of the definition of ‘essential retail’ – allowing more shops to open – and removal of restrictions on click and collect.

End of April

The hope is that all parts of the country currently in level four will move back initially to level three, said the First Minister.

It would see a ‘phased but significant’ reopening of the economy – including non-essential retail, hospitality and services such as gyms and hairdressers.

Around April 26 – assuming the data allows it – all of Scotland will move back from level four to level three, albeit with ‘some possible modifications,’ she said.