Scotland lockdown easing: Nicola Sturgeon announces early lifting of travel restrictions and outdoor mixing relaxations from Friday April 16

Scots will be able to travel anywhere within Scotland for the purpose of outdoor socialising, recreation or informal exercise from Friday onwards, the First Minister announces.

The rules on meeting people outdoors will also be relaxed from Friday, April 16 Nicola Sturgeon announced at her coronavirus briefing on Tuesday.

At the moment, a maximum of four adults from two households are permitted to meet outdoors.

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Travel restrictions for wider purposes such as leisure, shopping, visiting hospitality premises or staying in tourist accommodation will remain until April 26.

Speaking at the briefing today, Ms Sturgeon said: “In summary, from the end of this week, you will be able to meet up with family and friends who live in different parts of the country.

"I know that many of those reunions will be long-awaited and much anticipated but please do remember that at this stage meetings, probably until the middle of May, must still be outdoors and not within our own homes and I would ask everyone to please be careful.”

She noted that the outdoor rule will stay in place ‘probably until the middle of May.’

Travelling restrictions will ease from Friday, April 16 with people able to travel across Scotland (Photo: Lisa Ferguson).
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It is expected that by April 26, people from Scotland will be able to travel across the UK.

However, temporary travel restrictions to and from places with high rates of covid may be implemented in the future, Ms Sturgeon added.

The First Minister said: “We will be very very serious about mitigating any rise importing the virus – and particularly new variants of the virus – into Scotland so we may see some limited travel restrictions in future either within Scotland or between Scotland and other parts of the UK.”

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Ms Sturgeon said she hopes international travel restrictions can be agreed on ‘a four Nations basis’, however, stressed that it remains a ‘significant risk.’

Travel restrictions will be reviewed before April 26 as Northern Ireland is to review its travel later this week.

Before the briefing, Ms Sturgeon said that Scotland is “firmly on track for substantial re-opening of the economy" on April 26.

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