Scots told to ‘stay local’ from Friday
People across Scotland can make non-essential journeys in their local authority area from 2 April (Friday).
Then, from 5 April (Monday), hairdressers, garden centres, car showrooms and forecourts, homeware stores and non-essential click and collect services will be able to open, subject to enhanced safety measures including physical distancing, face coverings and pre-booking where appropriate.
Also from Monday, more college students will be able to return to on-campus learning and 12 to 17-year-olds will be able to resume outdoor contact sports.
However, restrictions on non-essential travel across local authority boundaries in Scotland will remain in place. People must stay within their council area for non-essential shopping and should only travel to another area for essential shopping if there are no practical alternatives.
People should also continue to work from home where they can, to prevent unnecessary contact that could risk transmission of the virus.
The latest easing of restrictions comes as data shows continued suppression of coronavirus and progress on vaccination. In Scotland, virtually all over 65s have now received a first dose of the vaccine, and the average daily case rate is now 539 new cases per day, a decline of more than 75% since early January.
First minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “We have made progress both in suppressing the virus and in vaccination, and therefore the changes I previously indicated will go ahead on 2 and 5 April.
“The stay at home rule is being replaced by a requirement to stay local – while Covid levels remain high in some areas, and while a lot of people remain unvaccinated, we do not want the virus to spread from areas with relatively high prevalence to areas with low rates of infection. That’s why the current travel restrictions, which prevent non-essential travel outside your local authority area, are really important.
“It will be easier to relax more restrictions in the future if case numbers remain under control, so when things open up slightly this weekend please continue to stick to the rules, and follow the advice and the instructions given by store staff to keep you and the other customers safe.”
Scotland announced a potential timetable for easing lockdown earlier this month.