Close physical contact, pints indoors and some events will be permitted from next Monday.
Another date that many of us have all been waiting for and today First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed further relaxation of the lockdown rules will go ahead from May 17. This means pubs, cafes and restaurants can open indoors until 10.30pm with alcohol permitted.
In a Covid-19 briefing held this afternoon, the First Minister said that all of mainland Scotland, except for Moray, will move from Level 3 restrictions down to Level 2 from Monday next week. For the Scottish islands, they will move down from Level 1.
This move to Level 2 in Scotland will also mean that cinemas, play areas, theatres, concert halls, hotels, hostels, BnBs, sports stadiums (with capacity limits) can re-open once more. From Monday up to 100 people will also be able to attend an indoor event, 200 outdoors with standing and 500 with outdoor seating.
From this date, it will be possible for up to six people from up to three households to meet indoors in each others homes, plus it will no longer be necessary to maintain physical distance. But, the requirements on physical distancing still apply away from homes and private gardens.
However, the First Minister added: “I know how desperate we all are for this – and so I don’t intend to immediately pour cold water on it – but there are two further points I really need to make. Firstly, it remains vital to be cautious and ease restrictions carefully – so for the next three weeks at least, the easing of the guidance on physical distancing applies to permitted gatherings in our own homes and gardens only.
“However, over that period, we will conduct a wider review of the need for physical distancing in public indoor places and set out the conclusions of that at the next review point. And secondly, please use careful judgment. Close physical contact does still carry risk, I have to be clear about that. So if you have loved ones who are vulnerable for any reason, please still be careful. And limit the overall number of people that you choose to have close physical contact with.”
Plus, outdoor adult contact sport can resume from May 17 as well as more than one person allowed to sing during religious services (however this doesn’t include congregational singing). Meanwhile, some international travel restrictions will be lifted, which will see Scots being allowed to visit certain countries that are the “green list” for non-essential purposes.
You can find the government’s timetable for easing restrictions here.