The First Minister also set out a timeline of restrictions easing up to July.
It’s the 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 April 26. This means non-essential shops can re-open, plus pubs, cafes and restaurants can open outdoors until 10pm and indoors up to 8pm, but with no alcohol inside.
In a Covid-19 briefing held this afternoon, the First Minister said that all of mainland Scotland will move from Level 4 restrictions down to Level 3 from Monday next week. This move will also mean that gyms and swimming pools can re-open for individual exercise and galleries, museums and libraries can re-open to the public once more.
From this date, takeaways can be collected indoors, non-essential childcare will be allowed, non-essential work can be carried out inside houses and driving lessons and tests can take place again. Meanwhile, the limits on people attending life events, including weddings, civil partnerships, funerals and receptions will increase from 20 to 50.
In addition, under Level 3 restrictions, those living in Scotland can also travel for a staycation with tourist accommodation reopening on April 26, and all remaining travel restrictions being lifted. The First Minister announced that people will be able to travel to and from England and Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man for non-essential purposes.
Nicola Sturgeon also revealed the plan for moving further out of lockdown in May and June is still on track. Cases permitting, Scotland will enter Level 2 of lockdown restrictions from May 17, Level 1 on June 7, Level 0 in late June and then close to normality sometime in July.
Lateral flow tests will also be made available to all which can be ordered online via the government website or collect from Covid-19 testing centres. The First Minister said she wants people travelling to Scottish islands to take two lateral flow tests before they do so.
You can find the government’s timetable for easing restrictions here.