Scotland’s road out of lockdown unveiled
The First Minister said she wanted to give “as much clarity as possible”, but wanted to avoid “giving false assurance, or picking arbitrary dates that have no grounding at this stage in any objective assessment.”
She said the framework was “deliberately cautious at this stage”, but hoped to see all of Scotland return to a regional levels system once again by the last week of April, which would see all of the country drop down to Level Three, and for Scotland’s economy to begin reopening in a more “substantial” way.
Ms Sturgeon said: “It is therefore from the last week of April that we would expect to see phased but “significant” reopening of the economy including non-essential retail, hospitality and services like gyms and hairdressers.”
Mr Sturgeon also set out the timeframe from now until April, on the “progressing easing” of the current restrictions.
It is expected that from March 15 onwards, the next phase of school returning will begin, which will see P4s to P7s return to the classroom, along with more senior phased pupils.
It also hoped socialising rules will be relaxed, allowing for four people from two households to meet outdoors, and the starting of some outdoor non-contact sports for 12 to 17-year-olds.
From April 5, the First Minister said she “hopes” that the Stay at Home mandate will be lifted; essential retail will start reopening; and that the final phase of the schools returns shall begin.
At that stage, household gatherings are expected to be relaxed, with six people from two households able to meet. It’s also projected that certain communal worshipping can commence again.
From the last week in April, April 26 onwards, Ms Sturgeon said she wanted to see all of Scotland’s economy and society to reopen in a more significant way, and return to a levels system, and drop to Level Three (albeit with some possible modifications to the Levels system.)
She also stressed the importance of vaccinating the population, and that only when enough people have received their vaccine can rules restrictions begin lifting.
Ms Sturgeon said that from mid-March, she would set out more detail on the further reopening that will take place over April and May, and into the summer.