The tourism sector received a boost as the five-mile travel limit was lifted under phase two of the Scottish Government’s routemap out of lockdown.
Self-contained, self-catering holiday accommodation – including caravan and campervan parks, lodges and second homes – can now reopen, although the public are encouraged to stay within the local area where possible.
From July 6, pavement cafes and beer gardens will also be able to reopen.
The five-mile travel limit, however, remains in place in Dumfries and Galloway, where there has been a cluster of Covid-19 cases.
Speaking ahead of a visit to Grantown on Spey Caravan Park, tourism secretary Fergus Ewing said: “The re-opening of self-catering accommodation and the lifting of the five mile restriction for travel is good news for our hard-pressed tourism sector.
“Being able to enjoy outdoor hospitality from next week will also be a much needed boost for the industry. These announcements don’t mean everything is open again but we are moving in the right direction to get the industry back up and running.
Ewing said it is essential that people make plans in advance of travelling and check what facilities are open, such as public toilets and car parking availability.
He said: “Please ensure you make use of booking systems where available prior to your journey and avoid busy beaches, parks and forests.
“If you arrive somewhere and it’s crowded, it is essential that you try and find another place.
“If all of us take the necessary individual measures to avoid transmission of the virus, I’m confident we can keep progressing through the route map and enjoy more of what of Scotland has to offer.”
Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers chief executive Fiona Campbell said that people were delighted to be able to get back to work.
She added: “Individuals and families who run self-catering properties in Scotland can now be reassured that their businesses have solid and dependable futures ahead of them.
“By working with the Scottish Government, our £723m sector has risen to the challenges presented by Covid-19 and is in a healthy position to be a major player in Scottish tourism’s road out of the pandemic and into the future.”
Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday the two-metre social distancing rule will remain in place, but exceptions will be allowed for some sectors including hospitality, retail and public transport.
Sturgeon said the decision was not “taken lightly”, adding: “But as we all start to interact more, it is vital we take all reasonable steps to reduce risk and we know that face coverings can help reduce the risk of transmission indoors.”
The halving of the two-metre rule has already been confirmed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson for England, however in a statement last month Sturgeon said current scientific advice and evidence supported physical distancing at two-metres.
Pub owners and the Scottish Tourism Alliance both called for the two-metre rule to be relaxed, stating their industries would be economically unsustainable if the guideline was to remain.
Scots will be able to visit elderly relatives in care homes from today with strict measures in place.
From July 3, a single “named key visitor” can visit a care home resident provided the home has been Covid-free for at least 28 days.
The “phased” reintroduction of care home visits will at first only allow outdoor meetings, with social distancing observed and the visitor wearing a face covering.
Covid-free means either the care home has had no cases of the virus at all over the pandemic, or that nobody living there has had symptoms for at least four weeks.
At present, only essential visits such as those involving end-of-life care are allowed.