Picnics and barbecues given go ahead in Scotland as lockdown eased

28 May 2020, 14:26

Nicola Sturgeon gives advice as Scotland starts easing lockdown

By Fraser Knight

Families in Scotland are to be allowed to hold picnics and barbecues from Friday, as Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the country will move to Phase One of lifting lockdown.

At her daily briefing, the First Minister confirmed restrictions will begin to be eased, which will see households being allowed to meet up and interact with others for the first time in nine weeks.

She said: “There are no certainties in any of this. I want to make sure the ground beneath our feet is as solid as possible.

“I don’t mind admitting to you that I do feel a bit nervous. I’m worried the limited changes we are making to these rules might lead to much greater changes in reality.

“I’m sure there are going to be lots of emotional reunions this weekend – we’ve all waited a long time for this, so I hope you all really enjoy it.

“But please, please respect the parameters we’re setting out. Be respectful of each other’s space and make sure things still feel different to normal – because they should still be different to normal.”

But the move comes with strict guidelines

Ms Sturgeon said Phase One will see two household being allowed to meet up at a time, but she says groups should not have any more than eight people and they must remain outdoors.

She said families should aim to stay within five miles of their home where possible and pointed out going to the toilet in somebody else’s house will not be allowed.

The First Minister outlined the guidelines, saying people must keep two metres between them and any person from another household.

She also said at a picnic or barbecue, separate cutlery, plates and glasses should be available for differing households.

Barbecues have been given the go-ahead in Scotland (file image)
Barbecues have been given the go-ahead in Scotland (file image). Picture: PA

And while people are not being restricted to only meeting up with people from one other household, they are being encouraged to only meet up with one per day.

Phase One of lifting lockdown in Scotland will also see garden centres and other outdoor businesses being allowed to reopen.

And childminders and outdoor nurseries will be allowed to start back from Wednesday.

The Scottish Government’s ‘Test, Trace, Isolate and Support’ system has been launched to bolster the lifting of restrictions, which will see close contacts of people who test posititve for Covid-19 being expected to self-isolate for 14 days.

Listen & subscribe: Global Player | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

Scotland’s Interim Chief Medical Officer Dr Gregor Smith said: “The more people stick to the guidance and continue to adopt the public health measures, the less likely it is that you’re going to be contacted by a contact tracer.

“There are certain scenarios where there is the possibility of a much more complex situation or outbreak which needs to be investigated.

“Where of those situations arises, more experienced health protection professionals are able to judge those and decide what the appropriate response is then in terms of who is contact traced and who is not.”

The phased lifting of lockdown will be reviewed every three weeks in Scotland to decide if the country can move to the next phase or reimpose lockdown measures to control the virus.