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Phase three move confirmed by First Minister

From Friday, July 10, Scotland will go into phase three of lockdown easing.

From Friday, Scotland will move to phase three of the Scottish Government’s route map out of lockdown.

The move includes an easing on restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings, and it was confirmed that pubs and restaurants will be able to open from next Wednesday.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced today that the move to phase three was the “most significant milestone yet” in the country’s emergence from lockdown.

COVID-19 has been suppressed to a “low level” but she said easing would continue on a staggered basis to minimise the potential of the virus escalating.

From tomorrow, a maximum of 15 people from up to five different households will be allowed to meet outdoors while physically distancing.

Indoor gatherings can also take place, with a maximum of eight people from three different households allowed to meet — again while remaining two metres apart.

Children under the age of 12 will no longer have to physical distance indoors and people will also be allowed to stay overnight.

Face coverings will also become mandatory in shops.

From Monday, July 13, dentists can begin to scale their work back up, and organised outdoor sports, play and physical activity can resume for children and young people under the age of 18.

Two days later, on Wednesday, July 15, places of worship can reopen for congregational services, communal prayer and contemplation while physically distancing.

Museums, galleries, monuments, libraries and cinemas can also reopen, as can hairdressers and barbers.

All childcare providers can also reopen.

The tourism sector, including accommodation providers, bars, pubs and restaurants will also reopen from this date.

There will also be an easing of restrictions on attendance at funerals, marriages and civil partnerships — but physical distancing must be maintained.

Then, from Wednesday, July 22, the phased return of universities and colleges can begin, beauticians and nail bars can reopen motorcycle instruction and tests can return, as can tractor driver instruction.

An update on remaining phase three changes will be given on July 30, including the reopening of non-essential offices, live outdoor and indoor events, bingo halls, driving lessons, indoor gyms, and the return of contact sport.

Ms Sturgeon warned that phase three may last longer than three weeks, adding: “This is undoubtedly a time for cautious hope. Scotland through our collective efforts has made great progress in tackling COVID-19.

“But I have a duty to be crystal clear with the country that this is also a time of real danger.

“We must remember that COVID — although currently at very low levels in Scotland — is still out there.”

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