Lockdown in Scotland is set to ease from next Monday, with hugs allowed in most parts of the country.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon appeared emotional as she confirmed that all of the mainland, with the ‘highly probable exception’ of Moray, will move from Level 3 to Level 2 of coronavirus restrictions.
Moray is expected to remain in Level 3 following a surge in cases and an increase in hospital admissions.
In the rest of the mainland, six people from three households will be able to meet indoors, the same number can meet in a pub or restaurant and eight people from eight houses can meet outdoors.
It comes at the same time as England moving to more relaxed restrictions on May 17.
People in England will be able to meet in groups of up to 30 outdoors, while six people or two households can meet indoors – including inside pubs and restaurants.
Nicola Sturgeon said that Scotland will also move to a traffic light system for international travel.
‘We consider that the situation now allows us to believe a careful move away from blanket restrictions on non-essential travel overseas,’ the First Minister said at the coronavirus briefing today.
From Monday, managed isolation will still be needed for countries on the ‘red list’ while a 10-day period of self-isolation with two PCR tests will be needed for amber list countries and those arriving from green list countries will be required to take a test when they arrived, but will not need to self-isolate if they do not have the virus.
While green list status should be the ‘exception not the rule’, 12 countries and territories will be on the list from the start of the initiative, including Iceland, the Faroe Islands, New Zealand and Australia.
‘This decision means that, as of now, we have a consistent four nations position on international travel – I think that’s positive,’ she said.
‘It has been made possible because the decisions the UK Government has arrived at are appropriately cautious – I hope this continues to be the case but I need to stress that the Scottish Government will continue to take the decision we consider to be right for Scotland.
‘We will not sign up to decisions that will put our progress at risk.’
In Scotland, the latest coronavirus figures show 7,661 people have died after testing positive, while there have been 227,840 confirmed cases.
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