Scotland will move to level three lockdown restrictions from tomorrow as the number of coronavirus infections continues to fall.
Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the changes to the rules earlier this week, paving the way for the hospitality sector and non-essential retail to reopen for the first time in four months.
The country was plunged into a second nationwide lockdown in December as the number of Covid cases spiked higher than the previous peak of the virus.
But the First Minister said that the number of new infections has fallen by 90% compared to figures seen in January.
The Scottish Government says that the most vulnerable groups in Scotland have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
There will also be a slight reopening of hospitality indoors, but Scots will have to wait at least a further three weeks before they can drink alcohol inside pubs.
Despite the progress made in the fight against coronavirus in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has urged Scots to act ‘cautiously’ when enjoying their new freedoms.
Speaking at a Scottish Government Covid briefing earlier this week, the First Minister said: “I know many people across the country will be looking forward to perhaps having a drink in a beer garden, catching up for coffee with a friend in a cafe, going to the shops that you’ve not been able to visit for some time, or perhaps taking a break somewhere in Scotland.
“But even as we enjoy all of these moments, and I hope people do enjoy them because you have earned the, we still need to be careful.”
Lockdown changes coming into place from Monday, April 26 include:
- Up to six people from two households can meet indoors in a public place such as a cafe or restaurant
- Unrestricted travel within Scotland, England and Wales (subject to other local restrictions in place)
- All shops, stores and close contact services can reopen
- Hospitality venues like cafes, pubs and restaurants can open until 8pm indoors (with no alcohol) and 10pm outdoors (alcohol permitted).
- Non-essential childcare permitted
- Non-essential in-house work permitted
- Tourist accommodation to reopen (self-catering accommodation to be restricted in line with rules in indoor gathering)
- Driving lessons and tests can take place
- Funerals and weddings including post-funeral events and receptions can take place with up to 50 people (alcohol permitted)
- Gyms and swimming pools can reopen for individual exercise
- Indoor attractions and public buildings such as galleries, museums and libraries can open
- Takeaway food can be collected indoors
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