Scotland’s lockdown restrictions will be lifted in four phases, the Scottish Government announced today.
In her daily briefing, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon revealed the different phases referenced in the country’s ‘route map’, a document created to guide the nation out of lockdown.
As of May 28, the first phase will begin which includes permitting more social interaction, some outdoor activities and the reopening of certain food outlets for delivery.
Here are some answers to your key questions about Scotland’s exit from lockdown:
When will we see family and friends again? As of May 28, when the first phase begins, public spaces will be less restricted and can be used for recreational purposes, for example sitting or sunbathing in a park. People will be able to meet up with one other household outdoors. This could be gathering in a park or even in someone’s garden.
When the country is ready to enter phase two, people can meet in larger groups at two metres apart. Meeting people from another household indoors with physical distancing will also be permitted.
During phase three families and friends can meet with more than one household as long as they are sticking to guidance from public health and during phase four there will be a further relaxation on restrictions on gatherings of people.
When will schools be going back?From August 11, all schools will reopen, according to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. In her daily briefing on Thursday she said pupils will return to a “blended model of part-time in-school and part-time at-home learning”. Teachers and other school staff will return in June to prepare classrooms for the new term. During June and over the summer, an increased number of children will have access to critical childcare and the Scottish Government will provide “transition support for children going into primary 1 or moving from primary 7 to secondary school.”Will we be able to go on holiday this summer?From May 28, during phase one of the exit plan, travelling short distances for leisure and exercise is allowed, but further-a-field will not be permitted until phases three and four, which currently have no set date. In phase three people can drive beyond their local area for leisure purposes and restrictions on accommodation providers (including hotels, B&Bs and holiday homes) will be lifted. During phase four public transport will be running a full service with some physical distancing measures in place depending on scientific advice at the time.
When will swimming pools and gyms reopen?In phase one, from May 28, outdoor swimming is permitted along with other outside activities including golf, canoeing and hiking. Leisure centres and gyms will not be reopening until the country reaches phase three of the exit-lockdown plan during which physical distancing measures will still be in place. When can I attend a wedding or funeral?
Registration offices are due to reopen for high priority tasks in phase two during which places of worship can also resume for private prayer with physical distancing and
hygiene safeguards. Marriages, funerals, civil partnerships and other types of ceremonies can also take place with a limited number of attendees, yet in phase three, restrictions on these gatherings will be relaxed to beyond close family.
When will pubs and restaurants reopen?
From May 28 certain restaurants and pubs can reopen for click and collect or delivery services if appropriate. Venues will only partially be able to reopen during phase two where pubs and restaurant outdoor spaces can be used, such as beer gardens and terraces. In phase three, restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes can resume indoor service with certain hygiene and distancing restrictions.
When can I go to the dentist?
As of May 28 increased care will be offered at emergency dental hubs and during phase two the government announced there will be an increase in dental services. By phase three all dental practices will resume to seeing registered patients.