Scots may be freed to see friends and family outdoors in next step of lockdown relaxation

Scots could be allowed to see more than one person outdoors from as soon as next week under potential Scottish Government plans to relax the rules around social gatherings.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 3:30 pm

Speaking at her coronavirus briefing on Friday, Nicola Sturgeon said that it was likely that “some relatively minor” changes to the rules on outdoor social gatherings will change.

Rules for teenagers were highlighted by the First Minister, who said she would set out any changes on Tuesday.

Ms Sturgeon said: “I’m hopeful that next week we might be able to make some relatively minor, but I think important, changes in our ability to meet outdoors and also how young people are able to interact with their friends outdoors.”

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Ms Sturgeon urged people to stick with the rules, saying if people did that she was “really, really optimistic that we will continue to see the progress we need to see to start opening things up and getting us all back to much more reality”.

She warned: “We also know then just how quickly things started to go in the wrong direction.

“It is really important we stick with it for now, hold our nerve, keep suppressing cases while vaccination does its job.

“If we do all of that, we can be really hopeful that there are definitely, at long last, better days lying ahead.”

Asked whether she could add any detail to the plans, the First Minister said she wanted to provide some more normality for young people.

She said: "What I’ll talk about next week, can we without compromising or jeopardising that progress, free up people’s ability to see friends and loved ones again?

"Now it will be very much focusing on outdoors at this stage. It is unlikely to be lifting travel restrictions, but maybe just giving people the ability to see more people on an outdoor basis.

"I am particularly keen if we can, try to as fast as we can, bring more normality back for young people, teenagers who are missing seeing friends – can we allow them to see more of their friends outdoors?

"This is work we are doing, looking at the data, looking at the progress, thinking 'can we give people just a bit more freedom right now without jeopardising that progress?’ And I’ll set that out on Tuesday.”

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