Covid travel restrictions in Scotland to be relaxed from Friday

13 April 2021, 12:28 | Updated: 13 April 2021, 13:04

The First Minister said a reduction in prevalence of the virus meant some acceleration of planned lockdown easing was possible to support mental health and wellbeing
The First Minister said a reduction in prevalence of the virus meant some acceleration of planned lockdown easing was possible to support mental health and wellbeing. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Coronavirus travel restrictions within Scotland are to be eased from Friday and six adults from up to six households will be able to meet up outside, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The First Minister said a reduction in prevalence of the virus meant some acceleration of planned lockdown easing was possible to support mental health and wellbeing.

She told a coronavirus briefing there had been three deaths from coronavirus and 221 positive tests in the past 24 hours.

It followed an almost seven-month low in cases on Monday, with just 199 cases.

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Ms Sturgeon said that from Friday people will be able to leave their local authority area for the purposes of socialising, recreation or exercise.

Rules on gatherings will also be relaxed, with six adults from up to six households able to meet up outside.

Scotland's current lockdown easing plan will see cafes, restaurants and beer gardens open on April 26, along with shops, gyms, libraries and museums.

Hospitality will need to close their doors at 8pm indoors and 10pm outdoors, with alcohol only allowed to be served outside.

From May 17, pubs are set to open indoors until 10:30pm and contact sports, cinemas, and some small scale events can take place.

Up to four people from two households will also be able to meet up indoors.

Scotland has five tiers of coronavirus restrictions, with the entire country - excepting some of the islands - currently in the highest tier, Level 4.

Ms Sturgeon said she was confident the country will move down levels as planned.

"We are now extremely confident that those parts of the country currently in Level 4 will move to Level 3 on April 26, that's now less that two weeks away," she said.

"That means, amongst other things, that on that day shops will fully reopen. Pubs, cafes and restaurants will also be able to fully open outdoors on April 26 and will be able to open indoors on that date, but on a restricted basis."