Scotland lockdown roadmap: when will Covid rules and restrictions ease - and key dates

Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that shops, pubs, restaurants, gyms and nail salons will reopen on 26 April

Lockdown restrictions are gradually easing in Scotland after months of tight rules to halt the spread of Covid.

Some small measures have already been lifted, but Scots are looking towards the end of April for the significant reopening of the economy.

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Nicola Sturgeon confirmed on Tuesday 20 April that shops, pubs, restaurants, gyms and nail salons will be able to open as planned next Monday.

Scotland will move into a 'modified' levels system from the end of April (Getty Images)

Other large changes were recently brought forward by the government, including an earlier date for the easing of travel restrictions and outdoor socialising.

So, what are the key dates in Scotland’s roadmap out of lockdown?

Here is everything you need to know.

26 April

Shoppers will be able to take to the high street once more from 26 April (Getty Images)

Shops, gyms, beer gardens and close-contact services like nail salons will reopen for business on 26 April, Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed, as mainland Scotland moves down to Level 3.

The much-anticipated date will see the return of pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants which will be permitted to serve people alcohol and food outdoors in groups of six from six households.

But there will be a 10pm curfew in line with Scottish licensing laws.

Indoor hospitality venues will also be able to reopen, with food and non-alcoholic drinks served until 8pm for four people from no more than two households.

Social distancing measures will still be in place as restrictions ease in Scotland (Getty Images)
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Takeaways will be able to resume for normal service, but there will be social distancing and face mask requirements indoors.

When it comes to exercise, indoor gyms and swimming pools will be able to reopen.

Meanwhile, driving lessons and tests will resume, while non-essential work inside people’s homes will take place.

While travel eased in Scotland on Friday 16 April, non-essential journeys to other parts of the UK will be given the go-ahead from 26 April.

That means tourist accommodation will also be able to open up, subject to restrictions, as well as museums, galleries and libraries.

And the number of people able to attend a wedding or funeral will go up to 50.

This date is also significant for those shielding, as they will be allowed to return to work, college, school or nursery.

17 May

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It is then hoped that the whole of Scotland will be able to move down to Level 2 from this date.

That would allow people to meet up inside homes, initially in groups of four people from two households.

And rules on outdoor gatherings will ease further, including allowing adult outdoor contact sports to resume.

More restrictions on indoor hospitality will be relaxed, with alcohol served in pubs and restaurants and an updated curfew of 10:30pm with two-hour booking slots.

Indoor entertainment venues, such as cinemas, bingo halls and amusement arcades, will also be able to reopen, along with outdoor and indoor events with limited capacity and the resumption of indoor group exercises.

Finally, more students will be permitted to return to university or college with blended learning in place.

1 June

Another change to the levels system may take place in early June to allow a greater return to normality.

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It is hoped that all of Scotland will be able to move to Level 1 then.

This would mean that up to six people from three households can socialise indoors, whereas eight people from three households will be able to meet up outside.

For 12 to 17-year-olds, this limit will rise to eight households.

The curfew on hospitality will change to 11pm, and restrictions on events like concerts and gigs will be relaxed.

Indoor non-contact sports will also restart, while casinos, funfairs and soft play areas will reopen.

And from the end of June there will be a phased return to officers for workers.

It is still not known if holidays abroad will be permitted in June.

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The government has said non-essential international travel will not be allowed before mid-May, but ministers have said it may not resume until some time after.

End of June

By the end of the month, it is hoped that the whole of Scotland will be moved down to Level 0.

It is not yet clear how a move to the lowest level of restrictions would look, but it is understood to be “nearly normal”.