Nicola Sturgeon promises routemap out of lockdown next week but warns Easter holidays are off

A new routemap for Scotland out of Covid lockdown will be published next week, Nicola Sturgeon has told the Scottish Parliament.

But she warned it was likely to rule out Easter holidays either abroad or in Scotland, though summer staycations might be possible.

The First Minister said it was difficult to overstate the importance of being “careful, cautious and gradual” in lifting restrictions.

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She said the Scottish Government was preparing a revised strategic framework setting out “when and how we might gradually emerge from this lockdown”.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was making a statement in the Scottish ParliamentFirst Minister Nicola Sturgeon was making a statement in the Scottish Parliament
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was making a statement in the Scottish Parliament

And she promised discussions with opposition parties, business organisations, trade unions, third-sector bodies and others before it was released, probably next Tuesday.

She told MSPs: “It will aim to set out how we will use and balance all the tools at our disposal – restrictions and advice, vaccination, test and protect, and travel restrictions – to restore on a phased basis greater normality to our everyday lives. It will set out, as far as possible, the conditions we think need to be met in terms of the data for us to start lifting restrictions and it will detail the broad order of priority for reopening, including a return to a geographic levels approach might look like in due course.”

But she said it would also be clear about what was not likely to be possible for a while longer.

"We are very likely to advise against booking Easter holidays either overseas or within Scotland as it is highly unlikely we will have been able to fully open hotels or self-catering accommodation by then. However, by the summer while is still highly unlikely overseas holidays will be possible or advisable, staycations might be – but this will depend on the data nearer the time.”

She said the government wanted phased return to as much normality as possible as quickly as possible.

But she added: “We must be driven much more by data than by dates. I know this is difficult given how desperate all of us are to get back to something closer to normality, but if e open up too quickly to meet arbitrary dates we do risk setting our progress back.”

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