Nicola Sturgeon announces when pubs and restaurants can open in Scotland

24 June 2020, 13:55

Nicola Sturgeon has announced lockdown easing measures in Scotland
Nicola Sturgeon has announced lockdown easing measures in Scotland. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

Nicola Sturgeon has announced a significant easing of lockdown measures in Scotland in the coming weeks.

Addressing MSPs in the Scottish Parliament, she revealed dates for the easing of lockdown restrictions, including plans for different households to be able to meet indoors from next month.

The First Minister said while the pace of easing lockdown in Scotland is "slower than England's", it is "right for our circumstances and, I hope, more likely to be sustainable than if we went faster".

It follows Boris Johnson's announcements yesterday for the easing of lockdown measures in England from 4 July.

Ms Sturgeon announced that the current "five mile travel limit" will be lifted from 3 July, as well as self-catering accommodation and second homes.

From 6 July, outdoor hospitality, including beer gardens, will reopen, as long as social distancing is upheld.

The Scottish First Minister said people will be able to meet up with two other households indoors from 10 July. People can also meet in larger groups outdoors, with social distancing.

Shopping centres reopen from 13 July, with pubs and restaurants will reopening from 15 July.

On the same day, dental practices can reopen for registered patients, and opticians can reopen for emergency care.

From 15 July, pubs, hairdressers and barbers, museums, galleries, monuments and libraries can reopen with social distancing.

All holiday accommodation can reopen from the same day, as well as childcare providers and indoor hospitality.

Live entertainment venues like theatres, nightclubs and bingo halls "will not re-open until a later date", while "further consideration" is being given to the opening of indoor gyms and restrictions on weddings and funerals.

Advisors are still reviewing whether the two metre social distancing rule should be eased.

Dental practices will reopen in July
Dental practices will reopen in July. Picture: PA

However, the First Minister warned if the Covid-19 virus begins to take hold again then the move out of lockdown "will be halted".

She said: "Our challenge - not an easy one - is to manage all of this change while keeping the virus firmly under control.

"If at any stage there appears to be a risk of its resurgence, our path out of lockdown will be halted and we may even have to go backwards.

"To avoid that, we must get as close as possible to elimination of the virus now and build confidence in our ability to control it in future through surveillance, testing, contact tracing and, where necessary, targeted suppression measures."

She added: "If we can do that then the move from phase three to phase four will become possible, perhaps as we go into August.

"That won't be easy and it certainly cannot be taken for granted. But we can all play a part in making it happen."

The First Minister also urged Scots to continue to follow Government advice to ensure that Covid-19 continues to be suppressed.

She said: "The choices we have made to date as individuals, and collectively as a society, have brought us this far - albeit with a lot of sorrow along the way.

"But arguably, the choices we make in the coming weeks will be even more important - as we learn to work, socialise and live alongside each other again, but in a way that keeps the virus under control.

"For us to meet each other indoors again, for more businesses to reopen, for children to return to school on a full time basis in August - all of that depends on all of us acting for the common good."

Barbers can also reopen from July
Barbers can also reopen from July. Picture: PA

The news comes after Scotland recorded its lowest weekly number of coronavirus deaths since lockdown began in March, according to the National Records of Scotland (NRS).

The figure has dropped for the eighth week in a row, according to analysis published as Scotland's death toll reached 4,119.

NRS figures show there were 49 deaths related to Covid-19 registered between June 15 and 21, a decrease of 21 from the previous seven days.

The overall death toll for the disease in Scotland is up from 4,070 last week.

More than three-quarters (77%) of those who died were aged 75 and over.

The NRS figures also show 47% of coronavirus-linked deaths across Scotland in the week to June 21 were in care homes, down from 50% the previous week.

The number of deaths in care homes fell for an eighth week, by 15 to 20.

Some 46% of deaths were in hospitals, up from 40% the previous week, while 7% were at home or in non-institutional settings, down from 10% the week before.

The total number of deaths registered in Scotland from June 15 to 21 was 1,058, up 24 on the previous week and 4% higher than the average number of deaths registered in the same week over the last five years.