Outdoor socialising will return this Friday.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced today that up to four adults from up to two households will be able to meet outdoors in Scotland from this Friday. In a statement to Holyrood this afternoon, she said the country will see some restrictions eased later this week as more people have been vaccinated and Scotland making good progress with suppressing the virus.
Currently in Scotland, two adults from two households are only able to meet outdoors for essential exercise, but from March 12 up to four adults from two households can meet outdoors for social and recreational purposes, such as sitting on a park bench for a coffee and a catch up. Meetings will also be possible in any outdoor space, including public parks and private gardens.
Nicola Sturgeon urged that people stick to the new rules. She said: “Gatherings must be a maximum of 4 people, from 2 households. And you should only go indoors if that is essential in order to reach a back garden, or to use a toilet.”
For those aged between 12 and 17 years old, the First Minister said outdoor meetings will also be limited to a maximum of four people. However, the two household limit won’t apply, meaning four friends from four different families will be able to meet up outdoors.
She said: “Because we have been in lockdown, it is easy to overlook the fact that the virus we are dealing with now is much more infectious than the one we were dealing with in the autumn. But we will be reminded of that very quickly if we try to do too much too soon.”
Nicola Sturgeon added: “I am certain that easing restrictions too quickly would be a mistake that we would regret. So do take advantage of the relaxations set out today. But please continue to stay within the rules.”
A firmer indicative timetable for reopening the economy, including shops, hospitality, hairdressers, gyms and parts of our tourism sector is expected to be announced by Scotland’s First Minister next week.
On March 23, it will be the first anniversary of lockdown and the First Minister said the current plans for this date is to hold a national silence.
You can find the government’s stay at home guidance here.