The key dates after six months since the start of Covid-19 lockdown

Today marks six months since the announcement of the UK lockdown to combat coronavirus.

It comes as the Scottish Government tightens some restrictions again amid a rise in Covid-19 cases.

Here we look at the key dates in Scotland since lockdown began.

23 March

A nearly deserted Princes Street at midday during lockdownA nearly deserted Princes Street at midday during lockdown
A nearly deserted Princes Street at midday during lockdown
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Scotland’s Covid-19 death toll stands at 14, with 499 positive cases.

People are told they will only be allowed to leave their homes for limited reasons, including shopping for food, exercise once per day, medical need and travelling for work when absolutely necessary.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says coronavirus is “the biggest challenge of our lifetime” and the new measures are essential to “slow down the virus and prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed”.

31 March

Scotland records its highest daily increase in coronavirus cases at 430.

1 April

MSPs vote to pass the 
Scottish Government’s emergency legislation on coronavirus.

It allows ministers to make changes to the rental sector, the functioning of public 
bodies and the justice 
system, including the possibility of releasing some prisoners.

Edinburgh’s festivals are cancelled for the first time in more than 70 years.

5 April

Scotland’s chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood resigns after being criticised for not adhering to social distancing advice by visiting her second home.

8 April

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The first weekly report from the National Records of Scotland (NRS) shows 354 people have died of confirmed or suspected Covid-19, a higher figure than previously thought.

16 April

The UK Government says lockdown will continue for at least another three weeks.

Ms Sturgeon tells the Scottish Parliament she hopes to soon publish a lockdown exit strategy.

20 April

An emergency hospital for coronavirus patients, the NHS Louisa Jordan, opens at the SEC in Glasgow.

23 April

The First Minister warns coronavirus restrictions could be kept in place for the rest of the year or longer.

28 April

The Scottish Government recommends wearing face masks in public in “limited circumstances”.

7 May

Ms Sturgeon says she will not be pressured into lifting lockdown restrictions prematurely, amid reports the Prime Minister is to ease some of the measures.

11 May

The cap limiting exercise to once a day is lifted. The First Minister stresses other restrictions remain in place, despite lockdown easing in England.

21 May

Ms Sturgeon reveals a four-point plan for easing lockdown.

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It allows Scots to meet people from one other household, sunbathe and take part in some non-contact sports from the end of the following week. The First Minister also reveals schools will reopen on August 11.

26 May

The Scottish Government unveils its Test and Protect strategy, which allows for contact tracing of those testing positive for Covid-19.

29 May

Scotland enters phase one of lockdown easing.

People are allowed to meet one other household at a time outdoors in groups of a maximum of eight.

They can also sit or sunbathe in nearby parks and travel locally for recreation.

7 June

No new coronavirus deaths are reported in Scotland for the first time since lockdown began.

19 June

Scotland enters phase two of lockdown easing.

The latest changes allow people who live alone or solely with under-18s to meet another household indoors without physical distancing in an “extended household group arrangement”.

People can also now meet in larger groups outside, while other changes allow greater freedom for those who are shielding.

22 June

Face coverings become compulsory on public transport.

23 June

Education Secretary John Swinney says pupils should prepare to return to school on a full-time basis in 
August after initial plans for “blended learning” are scrapped.

24 June

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Ms Sturgeon updates the route map out of lockdown in an announcement to the Scottish Parliament.

She gives dates for the reopening of pubs, hairdressers and cinemas, plus the relaxing of restrictions on meeting other households.

6 July

People queue for more than a hour to get into beer gardens as they reopen across Scotland.

10 July

Scotland enters phase three of lockdown.

People can meet in extended groups outdoors of up to 15 people from five different households while adhering to social 

A maximum of eight people from up to three households can meet indoors.

Wearing face coverings become mandatory in shops.

13 July

Shopping centres reopen.

15 July

Hairdressers, indoor pubs and restaurants restart business, while museums and galleries open their doors once again.

Places of worship can reopen for communal prayer, congregational services and contemplation.

30 July

Ms Sturgeon says Scotland cannot yet move into the fourth and final phase of easing lockdown restrictions as the virus is still circulating.

5 August

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Lockdown restrictions are reimposed in Aberdeen due to a coronavirus cluster.

11 August

Pupils return to school.

14 August

Taking customer contact details becomes mandatory across Scotland for hospitality venues.

31 August

Masks become mandatory in secondary school corridors and communal areas. Gyms and swimming pools reopen.

1 September

Restrictions on visiting other households introduced for people living in Glasgow, West Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire.

7 September

The household restrictions are extended to East Dunbartonshire and Renfrewshire.

Ms Sturgeon says the Scottish Government may need to “put the brakes” on easing lockdown after a rise in Covid-19 cases.

10 September

Social gatherings across Scotland are restricted to six people from two households.

Test and Protect app launched.

11 September

Household restrictions are introduced in Lanarkshire.

21 September

Ms Sturgeon says additional lockdown restrictions will “almost certainly” be put in place in the next couple of days.



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