Scotlands roadmap out of lockdown unveiled

Scotlands roadmap out of lockdown unveiled

The reopening of Scotland’s economy – including shops, bars, restaurants, gyms and hairdressers – is expected to start in the last week of April, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

She said there would be a “progressive easing” of restrictions before then, with four people from two households allowed to meet outdoors from 15 March.

All primary and more secondary school pupils could return from that date.

It is hoped to lift the stay at home restriction on 5 April.

Ms Sturgeon said it would be necessary to “rely very heavily” on restrictions to suppress the virus for “a bit longer”.

She said the Scottish government’s strategic framework was “deliberately cautious” at this stage.

“But in the coming weeks, if the data allows and positive trends continue, we will seek to accelerate the easing of restrictions,” she said.

Ms Sturgeon said the aim was to move fully back to a levels system of restrictions from the last week in April.

“At that stage, we hope that all parts of the country currently in level four will be able to move out of level four and back initially to level three – possibly with some revision to the content of the levels.”

She said that from the last week of April, the government would expect to see “phased but significant re-opening of the economy, including non essential retail, hospitality and services like gyms and hairdressers”.

More detail will be set out in mid-March, including the order in which parts of the economy will reopen.

The aim is for a “progressive easing” of the level four restrictions at three-week intervals.

Scotland’s youngest children and some senior pupils returned to the classroom on Monday, and Ms Sturgeon said schools were the “immediate priority”.

It is hoped that the next phase will see the remaining primary school pupils and more senior pupils back in the classroom “for at least part of their learning” from 15 March.

The final phase of the return to school would take place on 5 April, when it is hoped to lift the stay at home restrictions.

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