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Phase three for now but indicative dates given on further lockdown easing

Gyms may not reopen until September as the latest round of lockdown easing measures were announced.

Scotland will remain in phase three in the country’s exit from lockdown measures, it has been confirmed this afternoon.

Nicola Sturgeon made the announcement at Holyrood today.

Despite the prevalence of the virus being at “very low levels” Ms Sturgeon warned that a move to phase four may not happen even by the next three-weekly review of restrictions.

However, she provided updates and indicative dates on a further easing of restrictions.

From this Saturday, August 1, the advice for people in the shielding group will be paused.

People who have been shielding can now follow the guidance for the general population, but still should be especially careful about face coverings, hand hygiene and physical distancing.

Children shielding will be able to return to school and adults will be able to return to work, although the general advice remain that people should work from home wherever possible.

Updated guidance will come into effect for childcare providers from Monday, August 10.

Confirmed changes planned are, from Monday, August 3: 

  • Routine eye care services, including regular eye examinations, can now be carried out in community optometry premises, and if necessary in people’s homes.
  • Counselling services such as drug and alcohol support groups will be able to provide essential services, following relevant guidance and with physical distancing.
  • Sports coaches will be able to meet with groups of more than four households at a time.

From Monday, August 17:

  • A wide range of dental care services can resume — in particular, aerosol procedures — if they are necessary for urgent dental care.

Indicative date: Monday, August 24:

  • Live events such as concerts and comedy will be allowed outdoors — with physical distancing, enhanced hygiene and restricted numbers.
  • Organised outdoor contact sports will resume for people of all ages.
  • Some other indoor facilities, such as bingo halls and similar venues mentioned in the route map can reopen with physical distancing.
  • Funfairs and travelling funfairs can reopen.
  • Driving lessons will resume.

Indicative date: Monday, September 14:

  • Gyms and swimming pools could be allowed to reopen.
  • Indoor sports courts and stadia could also reopen.
  • Theatres and live music venues could open.
  • Soft play centres could also reopen.

However, Ms Sturgeon said that gyms and pool might be able to reopen earlier, possibly during August, and this provisional September date would be reviewed again in three weeks.

As of now, non-essential offices and call centres should expect to remain closed until at least September 14, and possibly later.

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