Stirling will today enter the first phase of its emergence from lockdown.
Residents in Stirling are able to meet up with friends and relatives in parks and gardens with social distancing as art of the easing of lockdown restrictions.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday (Thursday) announced that Scotland is now in phase one of the government’s four-stage ‘route map’ out of lockdown.
That means that from today, the coronavirus lockdown is to be partially lifted as part of the government’s “phased approach”.
People can now meet up with friends and relatives in parks and gardens with social distancing and more outdoor activities are allowed. Ms Sturgeon sad: “You and your household will be able to meet with another household out of doors — for example in a park or in a private garden.
“We said last week this should be in small groups – and to give greater guidance, we are asking that the total number of people between the two households meeting up should be a maximum of eight. Please keep it to less than that if you can.
“We are not saying that you must pick a household and only meet the same one during the first phase. But we are saying that you should not meet with more than one household at a time.
“And while this will not be the law, we also strongly recommend that you do not meet with more than one other household per day.”
She added: “I know how much you will be looking forward to seeing family and friends for the first time in a while. But how we do so is vital.
“Before you meet up with people from another household you should stop, think, read the guidance and make sure you are protecting yourself and others.
“In particular, you must stay outdoors and at least two metres away from people from the other household. That is crucial.
“You should also avoid touching the same hard surfaces as them.”
She added: “I suspect many of you will be planning a picnic or barbecue this weekend. If so, not only should you stay two metres apart, but each household should also bring its own food, cutlery, plates or cups. Don’t share these things.”
Activities including golf, tennis, bowls and fishing are permitted — subject to appropriate hygiene and social distancing.
Most outdoor work that has been put on hold can resume and the construction industry will be able to restart site preparation works as part of the first phase of its restart plan.
Garden centres and plant nurseries have also been given the green light to reopen and drive-through fast food outlets are no longer being discouraged from reopening.
Non-essential shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes — except for takeaways — must remain closed.
From Monday, teachers and other staff will be able to enter schools to prepare to reopen on August 11.
The First Minister also revealed that sunbathing in parks and open areas is permitted. She added: “And you will be able to travel, preferably by walking or cycling, to a location near your local community for recreation. However we are asking you, for now, to please stay within, or close to, your own local area. And don’t use public transport unless absolutely necessary.
“We are not setting a fixed distance limit in law - but our strong advice is not to travel further than around five miles for leisure or recreation.”
Ms Sturgeon also warned against large gatherings at beauty spots and landmarks.
Despite the easing of restrictions, Ms Sturgeon reiterated the message that people should continue to stay at home where possible.
Scotland’s death toll now stands at 2316 with around 19,000 people estimated to currently be infectious with the disease.
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