Scotland confirms next steps out of lockdown
Lockdown restrictions in Scotland will be significantly eased in Scotland from 17 May. From Monday, people will be able to hug their loved ones and meet in private homes as most of mainland Scotland moves to level 2.
In an acceleration of previous plans, the number of people and households that can meet inside homes in level 2 has been increased to six people from three households.
Level 2 restrictions also allow up to six people from three households to meet indoors in places such as pubs, cafes and restaurants, while up to eight people from eight households will be able to meet outdoors.
Pubs and restaurants will be able to serve alcohol indoors until 10:30pm in two-hour booked slots. Venues including cinemas, theatres, concert halls, music venues, comedy clubs, amusement arcades, casinos, snooker halls and bingo halls will be able to reopen.
Outdoor contact sports and indoor group exercise classes will be able to restart. Events will resume with a maximum capacity of 100 people indoors, 250 outdoors where there is unrestricted standing and 500 for events with seating.
First minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “It is almost eight months since most of us have been able to meet in each other’s homes. While I know all of us have been looking forward to being able to do that again, I would encourage everyone to please use judgement – close physical contact still carries risk, so if you have loved ones who are vulnerable for any reason, you should still be careful. And you should perhaps limit the overall number of people that you choose to have close physical contact with.”
As the virus is now sufficiently under control in the Western Isles, Orkney, Shetland and remote Highland and Argyll islands, these communities are expected to move straight to level 1.
Exceptions for Moray
However, the relaxation of the rules omits the local authority area of Moray which is experiencing a high and increasing number of coronavirus cases. Moray is likely to remain in level 3 for a further period, with travel in and out of the area prohibited other than for permitted purposes.
Sturgeon said: “I know just how unwelcome the likelihood of a further period in level 3 must be to people in Moray, and we are doing everything possible to ensure that any extension of level 3 is for as short a period as possible. I would appeal to everyone living in the region to follow all the public health advice so that we can get the situation back under control and allow Moray to get back on a positive track just as quickly as possible.”
Green list for travel
From 17 May, anyone entering Scotland from countries on a new international travel ‘green list’ will not be required to quarantine on arrival, but will have to take a PCR test.
The green list will initially be the same as that in place for England but will be subject to review based on Scotland’s specific needs.
People entering Scotland from a red list country will be required to enter a managed isolation hotel and stay there for 10 days. The red list now includes Turkey, the Maldives and Nepal.
If you arrive in Scotland from a country on the amber list, you must self-isolate at home for 10 days, and take two PCR tests during this period.