New details on the easing of lockdown have been announced – including the opening of pubs, tourism, cinemas and the ability to meet other households.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the measures in today’s (Wednesday) lunchtime briefing.
Ms Sturgeon said that thanks to the “real and sustained” progress in tackling the virus, she now had the confidence to set new milestones for the route map out of lockdown. However she stressed it was dependent on continued effort in keeping Covid-19 under control.
As previously announced, non-essential shops are set to open this coming Monday, along with manufacturing businesses and outdoor playgrounds.
New announcements, issued today, however mean that that From Friday, 3rd July, the five mile restriction on journeys taken for leisure and recreation will be lifted, allowing people to travel across the isles for their exercise.
And from Monday, 6th July, pubs, restaurants and cafes with outdoor spaces will be able to reopen.
Indoor pubs and restaurants, however, will not be able to open until 15th July – and businesses will be required to take customers’ names and contact details to store for four week.
As previously reported, 15th July also marks the reopening of the wider tourism and hospitality industry, together with museums, galleries and cinemas.
As an early exception, however, Ms Sturgeon said that self contained holiday accommodation, including lodges and caravans can open from 3rd July.
Organised outdoor sports for young people can resume from 13th July, together with the reopening of non essential shops in indoor shopping centres.
From 15th July, households can meet indoors with up to two other households, subject to physical distancing, There will also be an extension of the extended household scheme – and opportunities for young people to meet friends.
Early learning and childcare centres are also to open from 15th July, though capacity is expected to be restricted.
Ms Sturgeon’s announcement that hairdressers and barbers would also open from 15th July was met with cheers from Holyrood.
For now, Ms Sturgeon said the two metre rule on social distancing still applied. However, she said she recognised the concerns of businesses and hoped to find a. “viable and safe” balance in the near future.
Face coverings could become mandatory, depending on advice to be issued next week, but for now the advice is to “promote and encourage” use.
Ms Sturgeon said: “The challenge, which is not an easy one, is to manage all of this change while keeping the virus firmly under control,
“If at any stage there appears to be a risk of resurgence, our path out of lockdown will be halted and we may even go backwards.
“To avoid that, we must get as close as possible to elimination of the virus now, and build confidence in our ability to control it through surveillance, contact testing and, where necessary, targeted suppression measures.”