Scotland lockdown roadmap: the Covid rules that will change next as Nicola Sturgeon gives update today
The First Minister confirmed that some restrictions will be eased from 5 April, including the opening of hairdressers and some non-essential retail services
Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed the Covid restrictions which will be eased in the coming days, as Scotland gradually emerges from the lockdown that has been in place since January.
Speaking during her daily coronavirus briefing on Tuesday 30 March, the First Minister said the lifting of rules planned for 2 and 5 April would go ahead.
That includes the end of the “stay at home” rule, and the return of hairdressers and barbers.
So, which Covid rules are changing next in Scotland?
Here is everything you need to know.
What did Nicola Sturgeon say?
Earlier this month, Ms Sturgeon announced proposed dates for her roadmap out of lockdown in April and May - including the reopening of hospitality venues and non-essential shops.
It is hoped that the easing of major restrictions will happen in three-week periods, starting on 5 April, then 26 April and then 17 May.
Mainland Scotland will also move from Level 4 into Level 3 from 26 April, as the country returns to a “modified” local levels system similar to the one which was in place before the lockdown.
Today (30 March), the First Minister confirmed the changes that will go ahead in the coming days.
These can take place because progress in the vaccinations programme is “better than we could have dared hoped for”, Ms Sturgeon said.
This will begin with the lifting of the “stay at home” order on Friday 2 April, which will be replaced by guidance to “stay local”.
People will have more freedom to go outdoors, but they will still have to remain within their local authority area.
The new rule is designed to avoid further spread of the virus to places where infection rates are low, since they differ across Scotland.
What will reopen in Scotland from 5 April?
The SNP leader also said that some rules will be eased on Monday 5 April as planned.
From that date, a phased reopening of non-essential retail will begin, including click and collect services, homeware stores, car showrooms and forecourts.
Garden centres will reopen from this date, along with hairdressers and barber salons.
Ms Sturgeon said these close-contact services would be enforcing appointments and told the public not to be “irate” with staff members.
Also from 5 April, there will be a return to on campus learning for some university students - including those studying construction, engineering and beauty and hairdressing.
And contact sports will be permitted for 12 to 17 year olds again.
The First Minister said she hoped the changes would be “widely welcomed” but they were “deliberately cautious”.
Which rules could change after that?
Following those cautious changes, all secondary school pupils are scheduled to return to school full-time after the Easter holidays.
Then, further restrictions are planned to be lifted on 26 April as all top nine priority groups should have been offered a vaccine, Ms Sturgeon said.
On this date, travel restrictions on the mainland are expected to come to an end as all local authorities move into a “modified” Level 3 from Level 4.
This level would see the full reopening of hospitality venues, like cafes, pubs and restaurants.
They will be permitted to open until 8pm indoors with no alcohol and 10pm outdoors with alcohol.
Up to four people from two households will be able to socialise indoors in a public place, while up to six people from three households will be able to socialise outdoors.
All remaining retail premises will reopen, along with gyms for individual exercise.
Indoor attractions and public buildings like galleries, museums and libraries will also open.
The limit on weddings and funerals will also be upped to 50.
Ms Sturgeon said those changes would be confirmed in a further update in three weeks’ time.
In the next few days, the government will publish further information on what the local levels system will look like as more changes take place in late April and May, she added.
The government is hoping that mainland Scotland will then move down to Level 2 from 17 May, depending on continued suppression of the virus.