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News & Blog

Scotland’s roadmap out of lockdown announced

Posted: 23rd February 2021

Nicola Sturgeon today announced the next steps for Covid restrictions in Scotland:


First phase, starting 22nd February

  • Yesterday, children returned to early learning and childcare settings and pupils in primaries 1 to 3, along with some secondary students, returned to school
  • Universities and colleges were able to bring back a small number of students – no more than 5% of the total – where face to face teaching is critical
  • Care homes opened to facilitate meaningful contact between relatives/friends and residents


Second phase, provisional start date of 15th March:

  • Second phase of school reopening
  • University and colleges start a phased return of a small number of priority students for in-person learning
  • Non-contact outdoor group sports allowed for 12-17 year olds, subject to sport-specific guidance
  • Socialising rules eased, allowing outdoor meetings of 4 people from 2 households


Third phase, provisional start date of 5th April:

  • Third and final phase of schools reopening (if this hasn’t happened already)
  • Stay at Home requirement removed
  • At least 6 people from 2 households can meet together outside
  • Places of worship able to open with restricted numbers
  • List of essential retailers will be expanded, allowing more retail to open
  • Click-and-collect will resume for all retailers


Fourth phase, provisional start date of 26th April:

  • Move back to the tiered system of regional restrictions levels, with hopefully all of Scotland moving to tier 3, albeit with some possible modifications
  • This will entail a phased re-opening of the economy, including non-essential retail, hospitality and services such as gyms and hairdressers


The First Minister also gave some reassurance on the extension of business support, provided the UK Government gives confirmation of consequentials in the March budget:

  • The Strategic Framework Business Fund will continue until at least the end of June
  • When local authority areas move out of level 4, businesses that are allowed to reopen will continue to receive payments from the fund for at least the next four weeks, to allow them to transition back to trading more normally
  • The Government are also considering some form of tapered support for businesses that may still face trading restrictions and reduced demand, even as they are allowed to re-open

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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