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Key dates in Scotland’s easing of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions


By PA News

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has unveiled how coronavirus lockdown measures will be eased in Scotland.

Here is the Scottish Government’s current plan on how it will work, contingent on the virus continuing to be supressed and vaccine targets being met.

The dates are indicative and could be revised.

Young pupils returned to class on Monday (Jane Barlow/PA)
Young pupils returned to class on Monday (Jane Barlow/PA)

– Steps already taken:

On Monday, children between the ages of four and eight in primaries one to three returned to school, along with some senior secondary pupils who need to do practical work for qualifications and nursery-age children.

Restrictions on care home visiting will also ease from early March.

– From March 15:

Four people from two households can meet up outside.

The current limit is two people from two households.

All primary school children will go back to class, with those in primaries four to seven joining their younger classmates who returned on Monday.

More senior secondary pupils will also return.

Children aged 12 – 17 can take part in outdoor non-contact group sports.

– From April 5:

The stay at home order will be lifted.

All pupils should be back in school.

Some retail will begin to return, with the definition of essential retail extended and restrictions on click-and collect services removed.

Six people from two households can meet together outdoors.

Churches, mosques, synagogues and other places of worship can reopen.

Ms Sturgeon indicated that the exact return date for communal worship will take into account the timing of major religious festivals, with Easter and Passover falling on April 4.

– From April 26:

Scotland will move back to its five tiers of coronavirus restrictions, with Level 0 the least restrictive and Level 4 most.

All areas are currently in Level 4, with Ms Sturgeon saying from April 26 “hopefully all of Scotland” will move to Level 3, “albeit with some possible modifications”.

Non-essential retail, hospitality, and gyms and hairdressers can reopen in Level 3, though under current rules alcohol cannot be served in pubs.

She added that at this stage “we will begin to reopen the economy and society in the more substantial way that we are all so longing for”.

– Other restrictions:

Ms Sturgeon said the easing requires “continuing to accept some trade-offs for a period, for example on international travel”.

She said: “Travel restrictions are also essential and are likely to remain so for some time yet.

“We saw over the summer how new cases were imported into Scotland, after the virus had almost been eliminated. We do not want that to happen again.”


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