Scotland is taking its most significant steps out of the coronavirus lockdown to date, with Nicola Sturgeon announcing a relaxation of the rules allowing people to mix indoors and confirming plans for bars, restaurants and hairdressers to reopen.
The First Minister said it is "undoubtedly a time for cautious hope and optimism", as she hailed progress made so far in tackling Covid-19 in Scotland.
But with more services reopening and people now permitted to gather with other households indoors, she stressed it is also a time of "real danger" - and she urged the public to keep following the rules on physical distancing, hand washing and wearing face coverings.
At her address to Parliament, Nicola Sturgeon said that the changes being made in phase three were the most ‘high risk’ yet adding: “we will not hesitate to reimpose restrictions if we consider it necessary to halt the spread of the virus and save lives."
Friday is the first day where some of the lockdown easing guidelines come into effect.
People are now able to meet indoors, with a maximum of eight people from three households, and the maximum of people that can meet outside has increased to 15 from five different households.
July 13 will see dentists and opticians open as well as non essential shops within shopping centres, and two days later on July 15, indoor hospitality areas will open again, along with museums, hairdressers, cinemas and galleries.
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