First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced changes to Scotland’s lockdown restrictions on Thursday 28 May, following the publication of the Government’s Covid-19 recovery roadmap on May 11.

Prime Minster Boris Johnson announced when the roadmap was revealed that changes to lockdown rules such as unlimited hours of exercise during the day only applied to England.

This left those in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have had to look to their local governments for guidance on when they too could slowly start to ease towards a ‘new normal’.

Now Ms Sturgeon confirmed this week that Scotland was now moving into ‘phase 1’ of their approach to easing lockdown restrictions, but this by no means suggested that the virus was no longer a risk.

‘My advice is to stay home as much as possible – the virus has not gone away,’ the First Minister emphasised.

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‘If you have symptoms, get tested; wash your hands and surfaces regularly.

‘We can only take these steps towards a less restricted lifestyle because people have, overwhelmingly, stuck to the guidance. And we will be able to take more steps more quickly in the future – if we continue to do the right thing, and to stick to the rules.’

What are Scotland’s new lockdown rules?

From today, Friday 29 May, restrictions on some outdoor actives have been lifted in Scotland along with the instruction not to meet with those outside your household.

This rule has been amended to allow two different households to meet in outdoor spaces up to a suggested maximum of eight people.

However, the government continue to stress that maintaining physical distancing and strict hygiene is vital.

Other measures announced by Nicola Sturgeon for Scotland’s adjustments into phase 1 include:

  • From Friday 29 May – one household can meet up with another outdoors. This can be in one household’s garden, but physical distancing is still required. It is expected households will only meet one other household within the same day and up to a recommended maximum of eight people in the overall group. People should not share food and drink between households and should avoid using shared facilities, such as bathrooms.
  • From Friday 29 May – public outdoor spaces can now be used for recreational purposes, for example, to sit in a park, sunbathe or have a picnic.
  • From Friday 29 May – travelling short distances for outdoor leisure and exercise is now allowed. People are asked to still remain within a five-mile radius from their house.
  • From Friday 29 May – outdoor workplaces can resume if physical distancing is possible. This includes horticulture, landscaping and garden centres, forestry, environmental management and work in the construction sector.
  • From Friday 29 May – food outlets, restaurants and cafes can reopen takeaway, delivery or drive-through services.
  • From Friday 29 May – unrestricted outdoor exercise is now allowed, as are non-contact outdoor activities such as golf, outdoor tennis and angling.
  • From Monday 1 June – Household Waste Recycling Centres to begin to reopen.
  • From Monday 1 June – staff can return to schools subject to risk assessments. This is to plan and prepare for the new blended model of learning to be implemented from 11 August.
  • From Wednesday 3 June – child minding services and fully outdoor nursery provision will be available, although capacity will be limited.

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