Nicola Sturgeon has today unveiled Scotland’s route map out of lockdown, as she admitted that there is ‘no completely risk free way’ of breaking lockdown.
Today, the First Minister confirmed that Scotland will move into phase one on the 28th of May (next Thursday) as she admitted that “lockdown was causing harms on its own.”
Outdoor activities such as golf, fishing and tennis will be permitted again from Thursday next week, as Scotland begins to ease out of lockdown.
Waste and recycling centres will also reopen for business. Farming, forestry and construction site employees will also begin to get back to work.
Drive Thru food outlets, garden centres and plant nurseries will also reopen on the 28th with social distancing measures in place.
She also outlined plans to get schools back up and running, with teachers and school staff returning in June to begin preparing for pupils.
Schools will reopen with a “blended model of part-time in-school and part-time at-home learning.”
All schools will reopen by August the 11th, but will only be open part time until a vaccine has been found.
Ms Sturgeon confirmed today “Teachers and other staff will return during June to prepare classrooms.
“On 11 August, all schools will reopen.
“Children will return to a blended model with part time in school and part time at home.
“These arrangements will not represent a complete return to normality but we judge them to be most sensible (changes to lockdown).”
From next Thursday, people living in Scotland will be able to partake in more outdoor activities and will be allowed to sit in parks and sunbathe in open areas. The ‘stay at home’ message is expected to remain in place until around the 28th of May.
People will also be allowed to meet people from one other household at a time, so long as they remain outdoors, and remain two metres apart at all times.
The FM said today “The time is right to lead to the careful relaxation of lockdown restrictions”, with the first steps to be implemented next week.
“Scotland’s R number is now estimated to be between 0.7 and 1. In March, it was estimated to be at 4.
“There is no completely risk free way of breaking lockdown.
“This virus has not gone away, it continues to pose a significant threat to health.
“The danger of a second wave later in the year is very real indeed.”
She also added that the easing of lockdown measures would depend on “how well we all continue to observe public health advice.”
In the last 24 hours, a further 37 people have died from COVID-19 in Scotland, bringing the total to 2,221. An increase of 105 cases brings the total number of cases in Scotland to 14,865.
1,318 people remain in hospital in Scotland with the virus, and 51 are in ICU, a decrease of 2 in the last 24 hours.
On food outlets reopening the FM said “We will no longer discourage take-away and drive-through food outlets from reopening, as long as they apply safe physical distancing.
“Outdoor retail outlets such as garden centres will be allowed to reopen.
“However, non essential indoor shops, and indoor cafes, restaurants and pubs must remain closed in this first phase.”
However she warned that some of the phases could be delayed depending on the new infection rates.
She added “Some may be introduced a few days after that and, depending on the evidence, it is possible that some may have to be postponed – though I hope that won’t be the case.”
Above, Scotland’s route map for seeing friends and family, and details on how restrictions will be eased in relation to public gatherings, and public transport use.
The rest of Scotland’s lockdown route maps and publications can be viewed at the Scottish Government’s website by clicking here.
However, Ms Sturgeon warned that the dates for the easing of lockdown measures are not set in stone.
She explained “It may be that we can’t do everything in a particular phase at the same time. A single phase may span more than one review period. Some measures may be lifted earlier than planned, some later.”