Lockdown restrictions in Scotland likely to ease from Friday

Nicola Sturgeon says current expectation is to begin first phase of Scottish Government plan later this week.

The first phase of the Scottish Government’s four-part plan to ease lockdown restrictions is likely to begin on Friday.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said a “clear decision“ would be made on whether the country is ready to start lifting some of the curbs on daily life that were introduced in March.

“Our current expectation is we will be able to announce a relaxation of some of those restrictions,” she said.

“We will give you careful information as we go through this week about what rules are changing, what measures are in place to help you and what you should be considering as you decide what you can and can’t do,” she added.

The Scottish Government is next due to review the lockdown on Thursday. Ms Sturgeon has previously said the government would start to ease restrictions once it was satisfied that enough progress had been made to contain the virus.

Some of the restrictions that will be eased in Phase One include being able to take part in non-contact outdoor sports and being allowed to meet members of another household outdoors, providing social distancing rules are still followed.

But Ms Sturgeon said after Thursday the advice would still be for people to “stay at home as much as possible“.

And she said while people would be allowed to meet others outside, they should “think carefully, very carefully” about the number of people they come into contact with.

“Many of the current lockdown rules will still be in place, and it will vital everybody sticks to those,”

Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister

“Many of the current lockdown rules will still be in place, and it will vital everybody sticks to those,” the First Minister said.

She said people had been asked to make “tough“ sacrifices during the restrictions, adding: “These sacrifices have been for a purpose.

“It is because so many people have stuck to these rules that the number of deaths from Covid in Scotland has finally fallen over the past few weeks.

“In fact in many ways that will be more important than ever. After all as we start to lift these restrictions there is a genuine danger that the virus will start to spread again a bit more quickly,” she added.

The Scottish Government will also announce more details of its “test and protect” system on Tuesday, along with a plan for how public transport can operate safely while Covid-19 is still in circulation.

At Monday’s daily briefing, Ms Sturgeon said coronavirus has claimed the lives of another three people in Scotland, with confirmed cases of the virus reaching 15,156.

It takes the death toll among confirmed Covid-19 patients to 2273 but the total including suspected deaths is just over 3700.

In total, 1269 people are in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19.

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