The First Minister has said she remains “optimistic” that Scotland will be able to move to phase two of its route map out of lockdown on Thursday.
Nicola Sturgeon confirmed she will set out the Scottish Government’s assessment on the situation to parliament on June 18 – the date they are required to review the coronavirus related restrictions.
While she qualified that Scots may not be allowed to do “absolutely everything” they hope to do in the second phase immediately, she is hopeful the country will be able to enter that next phase.
Sturgeon also expects to be able to confirm those who have been shielding will be allowed to go outside for exercise.
She said: “I hope to be able to confirm on Thursday as I indicated earlier this week that people who are shielding will be able to go outdoors now for exercise and in addition as you know we’re required by law to review the lockdown restrictions every three weeks and the next review date is Thursday.
“At that point I will set out to parliament our assessment of whether the current suppression of the virus allows us to move to phase two of our route map.
“As things stand right now I remain optimistic that on Thursday, while we might not be able to do absolutely everything we hope to do in phase two, we will nevertheless be able to enter that next phase and announce some further important steps on our journey back to normality.”
Phase two of the route map is the stage at which meetings indoors with one other household are expected to be permitted, as well as meeting with people from multiple households outside.
Sturgeon continued: “The reason for my cautious optimism is that since we last announced changes we have continued to see a downward trend in Covid-19 cases and also in the weekly number of deaths.
“In addition the R number which, as you know, is the rate at which the virus reproduces has fallen slightly and is now between 0.6 and 0.8 and it’s crucial that it remains under one.
“So I hope for example that as well as allowing a bit more social interaction from Thursday, we will also be able to move forward with the remobilisation of the NHS and also indicate a date from which our retail sector can begin to reopen.”