The Covid-19 alert level in the UK has been downgraded from level 3 to 4 after a “consistent” fall in cases, hospital admissions and deaths according to the four chief medical officers across the UK.
This comes as the Prime Minister will announce that people in England can take a step closer to normality from next week as more indoor mixing and hugging loved ones will be permitted once more.
It is expected that people in England will be able to share a cuddle from May 17 and Boris Johnson will set out these rules in a road map out of lockdown at a press conference at 5pm on Monday.
However, what does this mean for Scotland?
When can we cuddle again?
A hugging date has not been confirmed in Scotland yet.
However, Nicola Sturgeon is due to make an announcement on Tuesday, May 11, just after midday, to update Scotland on the latest coronavirus restrictions and whether the next stage of easing will go ahead as planned.
In response to the England hugging news, the Scottish Government has said that the public will have to wait till Sturgeon’s announcement tomorrow to seek clarity on when and if we can cuddle on May 17 or further in the future.
When will the lockdown rules next ease?
It was expected that the First Minister was going to announce Scotland would move into Level 2 from May 17.
However, a surge in cases in Moray has presented a situation which the Scottish government has said it is “closely monitoring”.
During her announcement tomorrow we can expect an update on this and an outline of what lies ahead in Scotland’s covid recovery.
In Level 2, up to four people from two households can socialise indoors in a private home.
Yet, rules surrounding hugging have not been outlined in Scotland’s level overview thus far.
If we can hug, will there be any rules?
Asked what “cautious cuddling” means, Nadine Dorries, mental health minister for England, told BBC Breakfast: “I don’t think you can cautiously cuddle.”
But Dr David Nabarro, special envoy on Covid-19 for the World Health Organisation, said he would urge people to maintain social distancing.
He told Sky News: “On the one hand we’ve got a dangerous virus, on the other hand we must get on with life because it just can’t go on with the restrictions that people have had up till now.
“Finding that middle path, how to live with this virus’s constant threat, is key.
“If I were able to talk to everybody personally over the coming weeks, I would say: You must restart life and everybody wants you to do that, but please be really careful, maintain that physical distance of between one metre and two metres, especially indoors, and don’t forget to wear your face masks because that really can give extra protection.”
Professor in Medical Microbiology Sally Jane Cutler told Times Radio: “I think we have to be very conserved about who we choose to hug.
“Personally I’m going to restrict my hugging to family members and not beyond.”