You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

Scotland to move back to tiers from the end of April

0
Written by: Emma Lunn
24/02/2021
First minister Nicola Sturgeon has outlined plans for Scotland to gradually move out of lockdown and back to tiered restrictions potentially from 26 April.

However, Sturgeon emphasised a ‘data not dates’ approach and said that any dates given were provisional and reliant on cases and infection rates continuing to drop.

Scotland has been in national lockdown since 4 January.

Sturgeon said the immediate priority will continue to be the phased return of education.

Pre-school and groups P1 to P3 returned to classrooms on Monday this week, alongside limited senior pupils undertaking practical work vital for qualifications that can’t be done at home.

The second phase is set to take place no earlier than 15 March, with P4 to P7 pupils expected to return as well as more senior phase pupils in secondary schools.

The same date will see the limit on outdoor mixing between households increasing to four people from a maximum of two households.

Restrictions on care home visiting will also be eased from early March.

There is likely to be a gap of at least three weeks between each easing of restrictions to assess the impact of changes, and to check that it is safe to proceed further using the six conditions for safe easing set out by the World Health Organisation.

The ‘stay at home’ restriction could be lifted on 5 April at the earliest, with communal worship with restricted numbers set to be allowed from this date. If all goes to plan at least six people from two households would be able to meet outside.

This phase would also see the beginning of the re-opening of retail, starting with an extension of the definition of ‘essential retail’ and the removal of restrictions on click-and collect.

More re-opening will hopefully follow on 26 April with non-essential retail, hospitality and services like gyms and hairdressers allowed to open.

Moving back to the variable levels system at this point will be contingent on Scotland having vaccinated all JCVI priority groups one to nine which should be done by mid-April.

Sturgeon said: “I know how hard current restrictions are after 11 long months of this pandemic, however they are working and we can now see our way out of them. We are in a far better position now than at the start of January and these measures are initial steps on a slow, but hopefully steady, route back to much greater normality.

“Our intent remains to suppress the virus to the lowest possible level and keep it there, while we strive to return to a more normal life for as many people as possible.

“At the moment, and for a bit longer, we need to rely very heavily on restrictions to suppress the virus. This is essential when the virus is so transmissible, and when case numbers are still quite high.

“In time though – once the vast majority of the adult population has received at least one dose of the vaccine – we hope that vaccination will become our main tool for suppressing the virus.”

The Scottish government intends to publish a further document in mid-March giving more detail on the sequencing of re-opening the economy from late April onwards.

Earlier this week prime minister Boris Johnson laid out plans for the easing of lockdown restrictions in England, with schools going back on 8 March and restrictions on outdoor gatherings eased from 29 March.

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Seven ways to get help with energy bills this winter

We knew today’s announcement was going to be painful, but it’s still a shock to the system. When this kick...

Flight cancelled or delayed? Your rights explained

With no sign of the problems in UK aviation easing over the peak summer period, many will worry whether holida...

Rail strikes: Your travel and refund rights

Thousands of railway workers will strike across three days this week, grinding much of the transport system to...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week