Scotland lockdown route map: Nicola Sturgeon’s four-phase plan to ease restrictions explained as country enters Phase 1

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that measures will be eased from May 29

Friday, 24th April 2020, 3:43 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th May 2020, 2:14 pm
Nicola Sturgeon has said that social distancing measures could be in place "for some time" (Getty Images)

Consisting of four phases, each with increasingly less restrictions, the strategy differs significantly from England’s road map which was unveiled by Boris Johnson on May 10 .

Details of he first phase have been confirmed and will get underway on May 28. Measures will be reviewed every three weeks.

Speaking at a coronavirus briefing at the Scottish Government headquarters in Edinburgh, the First Minister said changes can now be made as a downward trend in the spread of the virus is "sustained and unmistakable".

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She underlined the need for caution, saying: "We simply don't want, in this phase, large numbers of people at tourist hotspots or beauty spots," Ms Sturgeon said.

"Crowds of people, even if they're trying to social distance, bring more risk than we judge is acceptable at this point."

When will lockdown be lifted?

Scotland will enter phase one of it’s lockdown exit plan on May 28.

The situation is to be reviewed every three weeks with the country progressing to a new phase if it is safe to do so.

This would mean that Scotland could potentially enter phase two on June 18, phase three on July 9, and phase four on July 30.

The First Minister however said that the government could move faster or slower than this, depending on how effective social distancing measures were in minimising the spread of coronavirus.

What will happen in phase 1?

From Friday people in Scotland will be able to meet one other household at a time outdoors, but not in groups any bigger than eight.

The Scottish Government strongly recommends people do not meet more than one other household a day, although this will not be legally enforceable.

New rules will allow people to travel from their home for leisure such as sunbathing and sports including fishing, golf and tennis, and will enable garden centres to reopen and construction sites to prepare for resuming work.

A legal limit will not be put on how far people will be allowed to travel for recreation but the First Minister said the "strong advice" of the Scottish Government was to stay within five miles.

From Monday, teachers will be able to go into schools for preparation ahead of the planned opening on August 11.

What could happen in phase 2?

Larger gatherings of family and friends will be able to happen as part of phase two, so long as social distancing continues to be adhered to.

Pubs and restaurants with outdoor spaces could also open up, along with playgrounds and sport courts.

Outdoor markets could also reopen, with a limit on numbers of visitors.

Operations at workplaces like factories, warehouses and lab and research facilities can resume with physical distancing, once the relevant guidance is agreed.

Families can begin to visit care homes, so long as it is safe to do so and carried out in a controlled manner.

Health boards will start remobilising to cope with a backlog of demand, urgent referrals and some routine services. Chronic disease management could also be introduced, including pain and diabetic services.

Marriages and civil partnerships and some other types of ceremonies will be allowed to take place with a minimal number of people attending.

Places of worship will open for private prayer under physical distancing rules and hygiene safeguards.

What could happen in phase 3?

Phase three could see members of the public able to meet up in extended groups outdoors. This phase could also see Scots allowed to meet with people from more than one household indoors, subject to physical distancing.

The public will also be able to drive beyond their local area for leisure and exercise purposes, while public transport will also be limited to enable distancing.

Ms Sturgeon said that as part of this phase children could return to school under the model of part time in school teaching and part time learning at home. She has said that the aim is to get all schools reopened on August 11.

Working from home will carry on to be the norm, but some indoor businesses, such as call centres, could be reopened.

Universities and colleges will have a phased return with remote learning and limited learning on campus.

Larger retailers could reopen and pubs and restaurants could open in indoor spaces with physical distancing and increased hygiene routines.

Personal retail services, including hairdressers, could reopen with social distancing and increased hygiene.

Museums, galleries, libraries and cinemas and gyms could reopen subject to physical distancing and hygiene measures.

There could also be a relaxation of restrictions on hotels, bed and breakfasts and holiday homes.

Restrictions on numbers attending funerals could also be loosened, with marriages and civil partnership ceremonies expanded beyond close family.

What could happen in phase four?

By phase four the government will no longer discourage the reopening of shops of any kind.

Restrictions on gatherings will be loosened further, while public transport will operate a full service but with social distancing measures in place.

All workplaces will reopen, but with strict hygiene rules and social distancing in place.

Schools and childcare provision should be operating with any necessary precautions in place.

Public services should be operating fully with changes to service design, including more use of digital services where appropriate.

Further restrictions on live events could be eased in line with public health advice.