Stay local: Stay-at-home order lifted in Scotland from today as coronavirus restrictions begin to ease

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From today, April 2, the stay at home message is being replaced by the stay local message, meaning Scots can travel within their local authority area for non-essential purposes for the first time this year.

The order to stay at home had been in place across mainland Scotland since Christmas and meant that people could only leave their homes for essential reasons including exercising, supporting someone vulnerable and getting food or medication.

But now, the message has been lifted and replaced with stay local, meaning that people can make non-essential journey’s in their local area.

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The First Minister said she will give further updates in April but that Scotland is on course to ease restrictions further, with cafes, restaurants, shops and gyms due to open from April 26 and more people allowed to meet up outdoors.

The stay at home message changes from todayThe stay at home message changes from today
The stay at home message changes from today

She continued to say that suppression of the virus “will allow us to enjoy many of the things that we took for granted before the pandemic – for example, normal family gatherings where we can hug our loved ones, sporting events, gigs and nightclubs”.

She said she hoped that vaccination and Test and Protect would lead Scotland closer to normality, but added she could not say when restrictions would be fully lifted.

She said: “For me to set a precise date for all of that right now would involve plucking it out of thin air – and I’d be doing it to make my life easier, not yours.

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“I am not going to do that. But I do believe that over the coming weeks, as more and more adults are vaccinated, it will be possible to set a firmer date by which many of these normal things will be possible.

“I am optimistic that this date will be over the summer.”

Lockdown restrictions set to lift from Monday, April 5


Hairdressers and barbers will open again, although it will be for appointments only.

Non essential shops

More retailers will be allowed to open, including non-essential shops, car showrooms and garden centres. Click and collect services will also be permitted

Students return to teaching

Students may return to come University and College campuses for in person teaching.

Outdoor contact sports for ages 12-17

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Outdoor contact sports for teenagers aged 12 to 17 will be permitted to go ahead.

Expected easing on April, 26

Mainland travel restrictions lift

People should be allowed to travel anywhere in mainland Scotland as of April, 26.

All retail premises to reopen

Libraries, museums and galleries and tourist accommodation would be able to open from April, 26.

Hospitality sector to reopen

The hospitality sector should be able to reopen outdoors for the service of alcohol until 10pm, and potentially open indoors for non-alcohol service.


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Up to four people from two households could be able to socialise indoors in a public place such as a café or restaurant.

While six people from up to three households could be able to meet outdoors.

The limit on wedding and funeral attendance could be raised to 50 people


Gyms and swimming pools will hopefully be open for individual exercise from April, 26.

Non-essential work

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Non-essential child care could be permitted, while non-essential work in peoples’ homes and driving lessons could resume from April, 26.

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