Dates for future lockdown easing set to be revealed

Provisional dates could be given for the reopening of beer gardens and hairdressers.

Dates for future lockdown easing set to be revealed Getty Images

The First Minister will give provisional dates for the easing of more lockdown measures later, expected to include the reopening of beer gardens and hairdressers.

Speaking at the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing on Tuesday, Nicola Sturgeon said she would give a “general update” on the progress on lifting lockdown.

The statement on Wednesday will provide “indicative dates” on when the easing of key restrictions might happen, dependent on continued suppression of the virus.

Sturgeon said successes so far in doing so meant she would be able to provide these dates earlier than first planned.

It comes after Scotland entered phase two of its routemap out of coronavirus restrictions last week, but without a date for reopening beer gardens and other outdoor hospitality, as had been hoped.

Most high street shops will be permitted to reopen from June 29, along with factories and warehouses, zoos, outdoor markets, playgrounds and outdoor sports facilities.

But Sturgeon said at the time beer gardens would not yet be opened in phase two while the government looks at evidence over whether places like pubs, restaurants and gyms are particular viral hotspots.

The Scottish Government has already told businesses in the tourism sector – including restaurants, pubs, hotels, museums and galleries – to prepare for reopening from July 15, when the country is expected to be in phase three.

Today’s statement will include “indicative dates” for the implementing of certain measures and phases with “all being well”, Sturgeon said on Tuesday.

The FM added: “Tomorrow, I’ll be able to provide further detail on the timing of some of the specific steps in that journey.

“I’ll be able to do so tomorrow ahead of when I thought just a few days ago that might be possible.”