Covid-19 Scotland.

updated   27th June 2020

Lockdown restrictions in Scotland were further eased following the government’s latest review on 18 June, with the country now in the second phase of its lockdown exit plan.

While a number of new measures came into effect from 19 June, the First Minister has set out further changes that will be enforced from July.

What rules are in place in phase 2?

Nicola Sturgeon has announced that Scotland will move into phase two of its easing of restrictions

To progress to phase two, the Scottish Government required the virus to be under control, with the R rate of infection consistently below one and a sustained decline in infectious cases.

Now that these criteria have been met, the government considered it safe to ease a number of restrictions.

However, some measures will still remain in place until July, with Ms Sturgeon stressing the country must still exercise “care and caution”.

Here are the changes are in place in Scotland, and the restrictions that will be eased from July:

Seeing family and friends

As of 19 June, people from one household can meet with people from up to two other households outdoors.

These two households can meet together or separately, and the rules state it does not always have to be the same households that meet. However, there should be no more than two households together at one time, and no more meetings than two per day. Groups should also not exceed more than eight people at one time.

Guidance now states that people can go inside another household to use the toilet, if necessary, if you are meeting in the garden of another household.

People who have been shielding are now allowed to go outside for exercise, and from Friday (19 June) are permitted to meet people from one other household, providing social distancing measures are adhered to and groups do not exceed eight people.

Extended household groups

From 19 June, anyone who lives on their own, or only with children under the age of 18, are allowed to form an ‘extended household group’ with one other household.

Within an extended household group, people will be able to meet indoors, without physical distancing and stay overnight, but only if they wish. However, they must continue to see any other households outdoors only, and stay more than two metres apart from them. Extended households must not include anyone who is shielding.

From 10 July, households could be allowed to meet more people outdoors, and extended households will be able to expand. People will also be permitted to meet indoors with others from more than two households.

Travel

From 3 July, the restriction on Scots travelling no more than five miles from their home for leisure and recreational purposes will be lifted.

However, Ms Sturgeon urged people not to travel unnecessarily, and to avoid travelling to crowded places.

Schools, childcare and other educational settings

On-campus university lab research will be able to restart subject to physical distancing.

However, schools are not expected to reopen to children until 11 August. Children will return to school under a blended model, which will combine part-time in school teaching, and part-time in home learning.

Work and business

The construction sector will be able to move to the next phase of its restart plan from 22 June, and dentists will be allowed to reopen, initially for urgent care.

From 29 June, some indoor workplaces that have so far remained closed in line with government guidance, such as factories, labs and warehouses, can start to reopen, with strict physical distancing and hygiene measures in place.

Optometry practices will reopen for emergency and essential services from 29 June.

However, non-essential offices and call centres should remain closed at this stage, and remote working should remain the default position for those who can.

Shopping, eating out and drinking

From 29 June, outdoor markets will be able to reopen, along with all non-essential shops if they have outdoor entrances and exits.

However, indoor shopping centres will remain closed, except for access to essential shops, such as supermarkets and pharmacists.

As of 6 July, beer gardens and outdoor spaces in restaurants will be able to reopen.

This will be followed by non-essential shops in indoor shopping malls from 13 July, with physical distancing restrictions, and museums, libraries, galleries, cinemas, shopping centres, and indoor pubs and restaurants will be allowed to to reopen on 15 July, along with hairdressers.

Sport, culture and leisure activities

Professional sport can resume from 22 June, although due to strict public health restrictions still in place, this will only be permitted behind closed doors. Organised sports can start to take place again from 13 July.

Outdoor playgrounds and outdoor sports courts will be allowed to reopen from 29 June.

Outdoor businesses, such as zoos and garden attractions, can also reopen from 29 June, although initially people should not travel more than around five miles to visit them. Where places are ticketed, tickets should be bought in advance.

Restrictions on moving house will also be lifted on 29 June.

Gatherings and occasions

Places of worship will be permitted to reopen from 22 June, although this will be for individual prayer only, not communal gatherings.

Registration offices will reopen from 29 June, but only for essential business, and marriages and civil partnerships will be permitted, but only outdoors at this stage and with limited numbers.

The Scottish government will continue to hold a review of current restrictions every three weeks as a minimum, with the next review expected to take place on 9 July.

Any changes could then come into force “within days” of this date, providing the country continues to make progress in its handling of the virus outbreak.

Ms Sturgeon announced on Wednesday (24 June) that she hopes phase three will begin on 9 July, after the review, but she does not expect all of the phase three easing to happen at one time.

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