More Key Dates For Scotland’s Exit Out Of Lockdown Have Been Revealed, And Here’s What You Need To Know

Alice Lorenzato-Lloyd Alice Lorenzato-Lloyd - Staff Writer


Here’s when you can eat out and get a haircut.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has unveiled today further dates as part of Scotland’s exit out of lockdown, including key early milestones in the route back to normality. She revealed to Holyrood this afternoon the dates in which the stay at home rule in Scotland will end, the reopening of non-essential shops and hospitality, as well as further relaxations to the rules about meeting up with other households.

Earlier this week saw the next phase of pupils returning to school, such as all primary year groups, and also permitting socialising outdoors with another household totalling up to four people. Nicola Sturgeon also announced last week that from March 26, communal worship of up to 50 people will be allowed, assuming 2m physical distancing is possible.

Here are the new dates showing when the First Minister plans to ease restrictions from.

April 2

Travelling for non-essential purposes within local areas can resume. We’ll be able to travel further afield to socialise with others as the legal requirement to ‘stay at home’ is dropped – however, overnight stays will still be forbidden, and the guidance is to stay local (within your local authority area) still.

April 5

Non-contact outdoor sport for young people can return. Further opportunities for recreation for young people will be allowed in April, with those aged 12 to 17 years old allowed to attend sports clubs only.

Hairdressers and nail salons reopen. It’ll finally be time for a long overdue haircut as salons open to the public once more. Precautions including face masks and PPE are likely to be in effect.

Reopening of retail and restoration of click and collect services. Essential retailers list expanded slightly, which includes garden centres and homeware stores, and click-and-collect resumes for non-essential retail.

April 12/19, dependent on term times

Final phase of return to schools. All pupils, both primary and secondary, hope to be back in school receiving face-to-face teaching.

April 26

Outdoor gatherings of six people from three households permitted. More restrictions will be eased in April, and the crucial one is allowing larger groups of people to meet outside in parks and private gardens. There will also be no mainland travel restrictions in place in order to meet someone outdoors.

Outdoor dining can resume. Cafés, restaurants and pubs will be able to resume outdoor service, with groups of up to six from three households being applied, but must close their premises at 10pm. Alcohol will be permitted, and there will be no requirement for food to be served. There could also be limited indoor opening of hospitality from this date too, where hospitality initially offer a service of food and non-alcoholic drinks until 8pm, and for groups of up to four people from no more than two households to dine inside.

Non-essential shops can reopen. Shopping and eating out will be back on the cards as retailers can open their doors once again.

Weddings and funerals with up to 50 person capacity. Wakes and receptions will be permitted but no alcohol can be consumed.

Indoor leisure facilities like gyms and swimming pools can reopen. Workouts and laps are back on the table in this stage.

Tourist accommodation can open for use by individuals or household groups. Holidays are an option, but only with your household or on your own.

Zoos, theme parks, and drive in cinemas, plus public libraries, museums and galleries can open. Even more outdoor recreation and entertainment settings are allowed to reopen at this stage.

In her statement to the Scottish parliament, she said: “Unfortunately, given that the risk of transmission is greatest inside our own homes, where it is much more difficult to comply with mitigations like physical distancing, we cannot yet say if it will be possible to have people from other households visit us indoors from this date (26 April). However, given how important this is to all of us, we intend to keep this under ongoing review.”

May 17

Level 3 areas to hopefully move down to Level 2 measures. Moving down to a lower level of restrictions will allow for more freedoms such as meeting more people.

We can see friends and family indoors, in groups of four from up to two households. Some social limits remain on indoor socialising, but this will allow family and friends to reunite indoors, either in a home or a public place.

Outdoor sport can return. Further opportunities for recreation will be allowed in late May, with tennis courts, football pitches, open air swimming pools, and basketball courts permitted to open. This will also allow formally-organised grassroots sport (i.e. your local football team) to resume.

Further re-opening of hospitality. Bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes can stay open until 10.30pm indoors with alcohol permitted and 2 hour time-limited slots and until 10pm outdoors with alcohol permitted.

Cinemas, play areas, theatres, concert halls, hotels, hostels, BnBs, sports stadiums (with capacity limits) can all open. Large sectors of the economy can return, and staycations could also return by this point with hostels and hotels open once more. Meanwhile, theatre shows and Hollywood releases could make a return. Outdoor and indoor events to re-start on a small scale.

Early June

All of Scotland move to Level 1. The ambition is that from early June, all of Scotland will move to level 1, which will allow for a further easing of restrictions.

We can see friends and family indoors, in groups of six from up to three households. Some social limits remain on indoor socialising, but this will allow family and friends to reunite indoors, either in a home or a public place.

Outdoor gatherings of up to eight people from three households permitted. However, eight 12-17 year olds can meet socially from eight households outdoors.

Hospitality can remain open until 11pm. Cafés, bars and restaurants will have their opening times extended by one hour, allowing us to enjoy sipping on a pint until 11pm.

Attendance at events can increase numbers subject to capacity constraints

End of June

All of Scotland to move to Level 0. The First Minister aims for all of Scotland to move to the lowest level of restrictions outlined in the government’s strategic framework, which may see us heading towards normality. We may also see a phased return of some office staff and an increase in capacity for events.

You can find the Scottish government’s timetable here.

This is a breaking news story, more to follow.

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