How Scottish schools, businesses and households could exit lockdown

This is how Scottish schools, businesses and households could exit lockdown.


Two options are being considered. The first would see a list of priority groups return to school in an agreed order.

This could include vulnerable pupils and pupils who are in transition from primary school to secondary. It would also include those about to commence national qualification courses in S3-6. The other would see a “new approach” to schooling for the foreseeable future, with most pupils likely to have a blend of in-school and in-home learning to ensure social distancing.

The Edinburgh St James Centre building site. Construction businesses would be among the first to return to workThe Edinburgh St James Centre building site. Construction businesses would be among the first to return to work
The Edinburgh St James Centre building site. Construction businesses would be among the first to return to work
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This would include attending school part-time in blocks of a few days or even a week at a time, to enable deep cleaning of schools between groups.

Learning at home will be supported by online materials which will be developed to support the curriculum.


Work is under way to get structures in place which will allow “considered decisions” to be taken on when business activity can restart safely.

The construction, manufacturing and retail are likely to be looked at first as less work can be done remotely. Elements of outdoor and rural work, where transmission risks are likely to be lower, will also be looked at.

But restrictions are likely to remain in place for some business activity for some time to come, especially where safe working is harder to achieve.

Changes already adopted in many sectors, for example working from home and the use of digital technology, are likely to persist as part of the “new normal”.


Changes are being looked at to allow people to leave their home more often and/or for longer. This would still involve staying in their local area, staying within their own household group, maintaining physical distancing from those not part of their own household, and maintaining good hygiene at all times.

The evidence which supports any changes to the 16 restrictions on certain outdoor work activities will be considered, provided that associated safe working practices are in place.


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Changes to allow people to meet with a small number of others, the exact number is under consideration, outside their own household in a group or “bubble” is being looked at.

This would allow Scots families to meet up again with the “bubbles” acting as a single, self-contained unit, without connections to other households or “bubbles”. It is possible that this option would be introduced first for outdoor meetings, ahead of any change to permit indoor meetings.

This change would not apply to people currently in the “Shielded” group, who remain at the highest risk from the virus


The resumption of NHS and community care services which have been suspended is now being looked at, if it can be done “safely and without unacceptable risk.”

The options under consideration include resuming certain NHS Scotland elective procedures and screening services, and the phased re-introduction of a wider range of social care support such as therapeutic group activities.

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