Changes to Scotland’s lockdown restrictions have been confirmed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. People in Scotland will be able to meet friends and family outside from Friday 29 May.
While some outdoor activity restrictions will ease as of Friday, the public are still urged to stay at home as much as possible and maintain strict physical distancing when outdoors.
From tomorrow, two households will be allowed to meet in outdoor spaces up to a suggested maximum of eight people. However, it is important that physical distancing and hygiene rules are maintained.
Members of two different households will be allowed to meet up, as long as they remain outdoors in a park or private garden and stay 2-metres apart.
The relaxation is an element the first phase of the Scottish Government’s route map towards reopening society while attempting to suppress the virus. The First Minister said the move would allow people to meet with one other household at a time. However, they will need to remain outdoors and in groups of no more than eight.
Scotland has been in lockdown since 23 March and did not make major changes to restrictions when they were announced for England earlier this month.
From Friday, most outdoor work that has been put on hold can resume.
Garden centres will begin opening their doors again and site preparation beginning in the construction industry, with recycling centres re-opening from Monday.
People will be allowed to sit out and sunbathe in parks and open areas, and travel within their local area for exercise. However, the First Minister said she did not want to see crowds of people heading to beauty spots.
Announcing the measures, the First Minister said: “The only reason the Scottish Government can make these changes today is because of the sacrifices that all of you have made. So thank you, to each and every one of you. No change will be risk free - and there are no certainties. While I am confident of that, there is also the chance that even these limited changes will lead to much greater change in reality.
“So please act within the rules. Be respectful of each other’s space, be kind, be prepared for things to be very different and remember that each individual decision you take affects the wellbeing of all of us. How well we follow these practices now determines whether we can go further in the future. We can only take these steps towards a less restricted lifestyle, and then consider taking further steps, if people continue to obey the guidance.
“My advice is to stay home as much as possible – the virus has not gone away. If you have symptoms, get tested; wash your hands and surfaces regularly; and if you do meet family or a friend stay outdoors. Don’t put them or yourself at risk.
“People who are shielding will be well into their third month of isolation, of not being able to leave the house at all. They are uppermost in our thoughts as we think about how to safely come out of lockdown and we’ll provide more information for them in the coming weeks.
“We can only take these steps towards a less restricted lifestyle because people have, overwhelmingly, stuck to the guidance. And we will be able to take more steps more quickly in the future – if we continue to do the right thing, and to stick to the rules.”
Measures that will come into force in Phase 1 include:
From 29 May
From 1 June
From 3 June
The Phase 1 guidance can be found by clicking here
The Scottish government has identified four phases for easing the restrictions:
The route map can be found by clicking here
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