Easing of lockdown in Scotland could begin in ten days

The changes could include some sporting events being allowed and letting people meet those from other households.

Nicola Sturgeon has said Scotland’s lockdown restrictions could begin to be eased from May 28.

If progress continues in reducing the spread of coronavirus, the First Minister said there could be changes made after the next lockdown review at the end of May.

The changes could include some sporting events being allowed, the opening of garden centres and letting people meet those from other households, provided social distancing is followed.

People could be allowed more types of outdoor activity, such as being able to sit in the park, play golf or go fishing, while some outdoor work could also be resumed.

Potential measures will be outlined on Thursday when the Scottish Government publishes a new “route map” on the path out of lockdown, Sturgeon said.

Speaking at the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 press briefing on Monday, she said the document will also contain more details on when schools might reopen.

But the First Minister stressed that for now there is no change to the current lockdown advice in Scotland.

It comes as England has lifted some measures at a faster rate than other parts of the UK, such as by allowing people to drive to beauty spots and meet one person from another household.

Public health messaging south of the border was altered to “stay alert”, but Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have kept the “stay at home” advice.

The Scottish Government has been more cautious on easing the lockdown due to what it claims is a higher infection rate – known as the R number – in Scotland.

But as of Monday, Scotland reported its lowest number of daily Covid-19 cases since the end of March, with just 57 new confirmed cases, while hospital and intensive care admissions have been on a downward trend for weeks.

Speaking at the briefing, the First Minister said: “Within two weeks, my hope is that we will be taking some concrete steps on the journey back to normality.

“As I’ve said before, it won’t be normality as we knew it because the virus will not have gone away, but it will be a journey to a better balance – I hope – than the one we have today.

“As we take each step, we must make sure that the ground beneath us is as solid as possible.

“That’s why sticking with the lockdown restrictions a bit longer to suppress the virus more is so important, because that will mean we can start to take these steps with the confidence that we have alternative means of effectively keeping it under control.”

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