Want to read more?
At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall, However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free.
To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic. The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thank you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time.
We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device. In addition, your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.
Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish).
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.
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.