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Procedures to relax lockdown outlined in Scotland


01 May 2020

The Scottish Government has indicated how it plans to approach relaxing the Covid-19 lockdown. 

The current UK-wide restrictions will be reviewed on 7 May. 

The Scottish Government said last week: “While we will continue to operate within a four nation UK framework and align our decisions as far as possible, we will take distinctive decisions for Scotland if the evidence tells us that is necessary.”

Like the UK, the Scottish Government is trying to keep the R (reproduction) number – the number of cases each infected person passes the virus on to – below 1. 

The Scottish Government last week thought the R number was between 0.6 and 1 in Scotland, a figure achieved by the restrictions on people’s movement.  

“It is likely that we will need small, incremental steps initially in terms of easing the measures,” it said. “We are likely to require that gathering in groups, for example in pubs or at public events, is banned or restricted for some time to come. 

“Our assessment is that now is not the right time to relax restrictions. Over the next few weeks, based on the evidence and expert advice, a number of options will be considered, not all of which may be selected. 

“These are likely to include the easing of restrictions in a phased manner; opening up different parts of the economy sector by sector; considering different restrictions in different areas dependent on how the pandemic is progressing; and considering options for different groups of the population – as is currently the case with those shielded for clinical reasons. 

“It may be that restrictions on some outdoor activity are eased before those on indoor activities.” 

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