Covid lockdown route map differences between Scotland and England

Plans to ease Covid-19 lockdown restrictions vary across the UK, and as a result Scotland and England, as well as Wales and Northern Ireland, are all now moving at different speeds in their return to normality.

For instance, Nicola Sturgeon’s “cautious” plan will see Scotland ease restrictions every three weeks until April 26 when the levels system will return, while Boris Johnson has unveiled a four-stage road map that could see all lockdown measures removed on June 21 in England.

On education, while in Scotland the very youngest children returned to nurseries and to infant school classes this week, with the expectation all pupils will be back in classrooms by April 5, the Prime Minister has announced all year groups can return to schools from March 8.

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Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson have taken different approaches to easing lockdown.
Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson have taken different approaches to easing lockdown.
Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson have taken different approaches to easing lockdown.
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At the same time outdoor after-school sports and activities are also allowed to restart in England while people will be permitted to have socially distanced one-to-one meetings with others outdoors in a public space, with larger groups allowed to gather in parks and gardens from March 29 – when organised sport will also return.

Meanwhile in Scotland, it will be March 15 before outdoor, non-contact sports for young people aged 12-17 can start, and four people from two households will be able to meet outdoors.

By April 5, Scotland's stay-at-home order is expected to be lifted and communal worship, a further extension to outdoor mixing and more freedoms in retail are hoped to be put in place.

In England, from April 12 at the earliest, shops, hairdressers, nail salons, libraries, outdoor attractions and outdoor hospitality venues such as beer gardens will be allowed to reopen. Two households, or groups of up to six people, will be allowed to mix indoors and limited crowds will be allowed at sporting events from May 17.

However, in Scotland click-and-collect retail will only be allowed to open from April 5, with non-essential retail, hospitality and services like gyms and hairdressers only reopening in the last week of April.

And while all remaining restrictions on social contact could be lifted from June 21 in England, allowing for larger events to go ahead and nightclubs to reopen, in Scotland there has been no detail of what happens beyond April.

Wales has seen a phased return to classrooms of its youngest pupils this week and plans from March 15 that all primary school pupils, as well as older pupils who have exams, will return.

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has said stay-at-home restrictions could be eased in three weeks' time.

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In Northern Ireland, lockdown has been extended to April 1 by the Stormont Executive, although a "decision-making framework" on easing will be published on March 1, according to Arlene Foster.

Primary school pupils in year groups P1 to P3 will return to face-to-face learning on March 8, followed by secondary pupils in key exam years on March 22. The number of people able to gather outdoors will also increase from six to ten, from no more than two households, from March 8.

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