Scotland's Covid lockdown: Detailed roadmap of end of restrictions is a huge help – Scotsman comment

We have been talking about light at the end of the lockdown tunnel since the first Covid vaccines began to be given at the end of last year.

Nicola Sturgeon makes a statement in Holyrood about the plans to ease the Covid lockdown restrictions (Picture: Russell Cheyne/pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Three months is a long time to remain in virtual darkness about when this will all actually end and, in such situations, it can be hard to maintain the discipline required to keep to the rules.

However the good news is the Scottish government has at last provided some detailed dates for our diaries: on April 2, the ‘Stay at Home’ rule is due to end, although we will be urged to ‘stay local’ instead; from April 5, hairdressers should be back in business; from April 12, all children are expected to be back in full-time education; and from April 26, the hard-hit hospitality sector is set to start to re-open.

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Some restrictions will carry on until June, but by the middle to the end of that month experts believe we could see life return to something like normality.

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Nicola Sturgeon announces 'Stay At Home' will end on April 2 as routemap out of ...

And the psychological boost that gives should not be underestimated, particularly for those whose mental health has been suffering because of the isolation and loneliness of lockdown.

However, these dates are not just a fillip for the national mood, they are also of practical use to thousands of businesses that are desperate to re-open.

They need to plan ahead for that happy day – for example, many will need to bring staff back in from furlough and some may need to employ new workers – and having a timetable to work to should make a real difference.

All this is possible because we have been sticking to the rules that have reduced the spread of the Covid virus and because the vaccines have been doing their job.

The decision to release this fairly detailed roadmap out of lockdown may also be a sensible and pragmatic recognition that, with the weather getting better, Easter on the horizon and infection rates falling, some people may have been tempted to flout the restrictions if they had remained.

But with dates to look forward to, it should be easier for everyone to hang on just a bit longer. We can see the light and now we have a good idea about when we will be able to bask in the sunshine. Hallelujah.

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