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Scottish Government announcement on the easing of lockdown restrictions 16th March 2021

Posted: 16th March 2021

All dates are indicative only, and are contingent on good progress being made against the virus

2nd April

  • ‘Stay at Home’ order to be lifted, and replaced with ‘Stay Local’ guidance (retaining the current, local authority-based travel restrictions for at least a three-week period)

5th April

  • Phased re-opening of retail services to begin
  • Non-essential click and collect services to reopen
  • The list of retail permitted to open will be extended to include:
    • garden centres (indoor and outdoor)
    • key cutting shops
    • mobility equipment shops
    • baby equipment shops
    • electrical repair shops
    • hairdressers and barbers (with shopfronts – not mobile services)
    • homeware shops
    • vehicle showrooms (appointment only) and forecourts
  • Contact sports for 12-17 year olds to resume
  • More students, within the top three priority groups identified by Colleges Scotland as most likely not to complete this academic year (estimated as 29% of learners), will be allowed to return to on-campus learning
  • Gathering rules of 4 people from 2 households to stay in place

12th or 19th April (depending on term times):

  • All children back in school full-time after the Easter break

By mid-April, it is expected that all 9 priority groups, including everyone over 50, will have been offered first doses of the vaccine. These groups make up a significant majority of population, and between them also account for 99% of all Covid-related deaths, making this an important milestone. Therefore, we are expecting that from:

26th April

  • Expecting all parts of Scotland currently in tier 4 to move down to a modified tier 3
  • Restrictions on journeys within mainland Scotland will be lifted entirely
  • Journeys between Scotland and the rest of the UK will be allowed either on the 26th or soon after, but this will be kept under review and guidance will be updated during April
  • All remaining retail to reopen, and mobile close-contact services can resume
  • Tourist accommodation to reopen, subject to wider restrictions on hospitality and indoor gatherings
  • Libraries, museums and galleries to reopen
  • Indoor gyms to reopen for individual exercise
  • Work in homes and driving lessons to restart
  • Hospitality will reopen, with restrictions:
    • cafes restaurants and bars can serve food and/or alcohol outdoors until 10pm
    • limited indoor opening for hospitality, for service of food only, until 8pm
    • up to 4 people from 2 households can socialise indoors in a public place such as a café or restaurant
  • Up to 50 people will be able to attend weddings and funerals (including wakes and receptions with no alcohol permitted)
  • Restrictions on outdoor socialising to be eased to 6 people from 3 households (or 6 households for 12-17 year olds). Restrictions on indoor gatherings may not be possible by this date, but this will be kept under review
  • Those on the shielding list will be able to return to work and education, but they will receive a letter shortly

17th May

  • As many tier 3 areas as possible will move to level 2
  • Indoor hospitality will be less restricted: bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes can stay open until 10.30pm indoors with alcohol permitted and 2 hour time-limited slots and until 10pm outdoors with alcohol permitted. More details will be announced closer to the time
  • Adult outdoor contact sports, and indoor group exercise to resume
  • Cinemas, amusement arcades and bingo halls to reopen
  • Outdoor and indoor events will be able to resume, albeit on small scale – the Government will discuss capacity limits with the events sector over the next few weeks
  • More face-to-face services will resume
  • Non-professional performance arts will resume outdoors
  • A more blended model of learning will be possible for education
  • People will be able to meet indoors if this hasn’t already happened, with limits of up to 4 people from 2 households
  • This is the earliest that international travel will be able to resume, to a limited range of destinations, but it is likely to be later than this. The Government will discuss this with the aviation industry later this week

Further dates:

  • From early June, the hope and ambition is that all of Scotland will move to level 1
  • By the end of June, all of Scotland may be able to move to at least level 0
  • These levels do still involve some restrictions, so the hope is that we will be able to go beyond that
  • Optimistic that we will be mostly back to normal by some point over the summer, although vaccines, test and trace, plus good hygiene will probably be relatively ongoing measures to keep Covid under control

Business support

  • 22nd March, recipients of the Strategic Framework Business Fund will be given a final 4 week payment
  • 19th April, recipients of the Strategic Framework Business Fund will be automatically given a combined two-week supplement and a one-off restart grant: up to £7,500 for eligible retail premises; and up to £19,500 for eligible hospitality and leisure
  • The infrastructure for the Strategic Framework Business Fund will be retained and used as required in future for business support linked to any local outbreaks

You can access the full timetable for easing coronavirus restrictions here.





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