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Phase two of lockdown easing to begin

By David Porter

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SCOTLAND is moving to phase two of lockdown easing.

Further changes to lockdown restrictions in Scotland have been announced today (Thursday) by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The First Minister has announced the move to Phase2.
The First Minister has announced the move to Phase2.

Those shielding are now able to go outdoors for exercise from today.

From tomorrow (Friday) those shielding can take part in non-contact outdoor activities and can meet one other household, in groups of no more than eight outdoors.

Physical distancing and strict hygiene measures must still be followed, even if you live with those people.

Announcing the measures, the First Minister said “Thank you for the personal sacrifices you’re making to tackle this pandemic.

"You’ve demonstrated remarkable dedication to our national wellbeing - that effort should never be underestimated, and my thanks can never be overstated.

“Because of your actions, we can now – gradually and carefully – change some restrictions.

“In deciding when to implement each measure in our staged approach, we have to think about how a decision in one area affects life in other areas.

"Our test and protect system is important to our gradual return to living more freely while suppressing the virus, and early indications suggest it’s already working well.

“I know for those shielding, the requirement to stay indoors at all times, without meeting up with anyone, has been incredibly tough.

"I hope that this change to our advice can provide a real improvement to your quality of life, without significantly increasing the risks you face.

“Our extended household groups will allow a grandparent who lives on their own to form a group with another household in their family, a single parent and their children to join with another household for support, and it will allow a non-cohabiting couple, where at least one of them lives alone, to be reunited.

"It will, I hope, help to ease some of the isolation which is one of the cruellest consequences of tackling this virus.

“I appreciate today’s announcement will be hard for the hospitality industry but I want to give an assurance that we will continue to support preparations for re-opening.

“Ultimately, this is a social bargain.

"The prize for going a bit more carefully now is a recovery that is much more sustainable and will, I hope, allow more normality to be restored to our everyday lives while suppressing the virus.”

From Friday, June 19:

• Those advised to shield will be able to take part in non-contact activities such as golf, angling, kayaking, and meet members of another household outdoors, up to a suggested maximum of eight in the group. Most importantly in both instances, strict physical distancing of two meters must be followed at all times, and they should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds when they return home

• A household not shielding can meet two other households, outside, up to a suggested maximum of eight people in the group

• Those visiting another household in a private garden will be permitted to use the household toilet, with increased hygiene measures urged. This does not include a household of someone who is shielding

• Single person households, including single parents households with children under the age of 18, will be able to form an extended household with another

• People should continue to stay in their local area as much as possible and should not travel more than around five miles for leisure or recreation

From Monday, June 22:

• Construction sector to implement remaining stages of their own phased return

• Dental practices open to see patients with urgent care needs

• Resumption of professional sport, following public health advice

• Places of worship open for individual prayer and contemplation

• Limited College and University staff return for essential preparations for re-opening in Phase 3

• Mandatory face coverings on public transport (please see Transport Scotland for more detail)

• Accommodation can be provided for workers whose workplaces are open in the relevant phase and who need to stay away from home for work

From Monday, June 29:

• Indoor non-office workplaces (including factories, warehouses and labs) can resume once relevant guidance is implemented. This does not include non-essential office, call-centre, culture, leisure and hospitality premises

• Restrictions of house moves relaxed

• Public gardens and zoos can open but should remain limited to local access only in this phase

• Outdoor sports courts reopen

• Playgrounds can reopen

• Registration offices can open for priority tasks

• Marriages and civil partnerships allowed with minimal attendees outside

• Street-access retail can re-open once guidance is implemented. Interiors of shopping malls/centres remain closed for non-essential shops until Phase 3

• Reintroduction of some chronic disease management

• Phased resumption of some screening services

• Phased safe resumption of essential optometry and ophthalmology services

• Outdoor markets can reopen once guidance is implemented

Scaling up throughout Phase 2

• Public transport will increase services. Capacity will remain constrained due to physical distancing requirements – and active travel remains the preferred mode of travel.

• Increase in health care provisions for pent up demand, urgent referrals and triage of routine services

• Planning with COSLA and partners to support and, if needed, review social care and care home services

• Priority referrals to secondary care

• Public services will continue to resume and scale up, including services such as visiting support to Housing First Tenants and the resumption of area-based energy efficiency schemes

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