Scots are being urged to stay at home and to keep any essential exercise and journeys short over the Easter weekend.
Jason Leitch, national clinical director for Scotland, is calling on people to do any outdoor exercise near their home and for no more than an hour, avoid long journeys and only travel by car “if it is unavoidable”.
Amid concern increasing numbers of Scots could flout social distancing guidance over the Easter weekend, the government has reiterated that lockdown measures mean essential reasons such as buying groceries, healthcare, caring responsibilities or essential work.
Urging people to follow the advice, professor Leitch said: “The best ways of slowing down the spread of coronavirus is staying at home, social distancing and hand washing, so I must thank everyone for all they have been doing so far to keep safe and comply with these stringent measures.
“The social distancing guidance has been tough and has seen us all having to adapt to new ways of keeping in touch with friends and family, which is why now more than every it is important for people to exercise and keep mentally and physically active.
“We need to use common sense. Please exercise at home and, if you are going out for a daily walk, run or cycle, stay at least two metres away from people you don’t live with.
“Do not be tempted to go for a drive for leisure. This is about going for a short walk locally, a run or a short bike ride, not spending time on your favourite sport or hobby.
“If you travel further afield, there is a risk you might come into contact with other people, whether you plan to or not, so please keep this to an absolute minimum.
“Only use your car to get somewhere if it is unavoidable and please remember that even in these circumstances journeys must be kept short.”
Douglas Cairns, from Transport Scotland, said: “We know this is not how people would want to be spending their Easter break, but it’s vital that we all play our part in these difficult times by following the guidance and keeping any travel to essential journeys only.
“Transport operators have cut back their services to focus on providing support to key workers.
“The only other reasons you should be travelling are to pick up essential supplies, for healthcare or to carry out caring responsibilities.
“You should only be using your car if really need to. The advice is clear so please don’t go for leisure drives even if the weather is good. We must stay at home to help protect the NHS, our families and save lives.”