Coronavirus in Scotland: Edinburgh's pubs, shops, swimming pools and gyms get the go-ahead to open from Monday
Beer gardens, cafes, shops and gyms are all set to reopen in Scotland on Monday as the country moves into Level 3 restrictions.
The First Minister said today the continued suppression of coronavirus and the success of the vaccine rollout meant some restrictions can be lifted.
She told a Covid-19 briefing that on Monday that the country will move out of Level 4.
It means cafes, restaurants and beer gardens can open, along with shops, gyms, libraries and museums.
Hospitality will need to close at 8pm indoors and 10pm outdoors, with alcohol only allowed to be served outside.
Travel between Scotland, England and Wales will be permitted and tourist accommodation can welcome back visitors.
Funerals and weddings – including post-funeral events and receptions – will be allowed to take place with up to 50 people, but no alcohol may be served.
Other changes include the resumption of driving lessons and tests.
Ms Sturgeon told the briefing that two deaths from coronavirus and 178 positive tests have been recorded in the past 24 hours.
This continued decline in the number of cases means the country could relax restrictions, she said.
Further lockdown easing is due to take place on May 17, with Scotland planning to move to Level 2 of its restrictions, and to Level 1 on June 7.
Updated guidance is being published on collecting customer contact details, requiring venues to take down contact details for all customers, not just the lead member of each group.
Mr Sturgeon said this “additional precaution” was needed to help with contact tracing in the event of a Covid outbreak.
She also stressed that while people would be able to meet indoors in places such as cafes, it was not yet possible for them to meet others in private homes.
“I know that can seem illogical, it can seem really difficult and unfair,” Ms Sturgeon said.
But she said risks of transmitting the virus could be higher in people’s homes, where it is harder to enforce physical distancing and provide the necessary levels of ventilation.
Also from Monday, non-essential work will be permitted in people’s homes, such as cleaning and painting and decorating.
Ms Sturgeon said: “From Monday you can travel anywhere across Britain for any purpose.”
Restrictions on travel to Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man will also be lifted.
With lateral flow tests being made available to anyone from Monday April 26, Ms Sturgeon urged people to consider using these before travelling to Scotland’s island communities – where coronavirus numbers tend to be lower.
With many islands having “very, very low rates of Covid”, Ms Sturgeon said anyone travelling to one was being encouraged to take two tests – one three days before travelling and one on the day of departure.
She said: “This is potentially an important way we can minimise the risk of bringing Covid into island communities, while nevertheless allowing our island communities the benefit of opening up again to visitors.”