Four adults from two households will be able to meet up in outside spaces, including public spaces and private gardens, from Friday March 12, Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.
The Scottish First Minister also stated that for 12-17 year-olds, meetings will be limited to four people but will not be limited to two households.
In addition, outdoor non-contact sport and organised group exercise will be permitted for all adults, in groups of up to 15 people from this date and communal worship will also be able to start again from Mar 26, with 50 people initially being allowed into services.
Ms Sturgeon said on Mar 9 that the country is “heading in the right direction, but we cannot afford to take our foot of the brake too soon”, but went on to state that the Scottish Government “will not hesitate” to ease restrictions earlier if data supports it.
In order to ease lockdown measures, it was announced in February that Scotland will return to a tiered system from the last week in April, with the lifting of measures being staggered by three weeks – two weeks faster than in England.
From then on, the five-level system should see the entire country enter Level 4 and drop down to Level 3, which would see sectors such as non-essential retail reopen from Apr 26. The stay at home restriction will be lifted from Apr 5.
Care home restrictions will be eased from early March, and from Mar 15, the next phase of school returns – including primary and some secondary students – will begin.
Mainland Scotland was placed into lockdown on Jan 4 to tackle the rising spread of the new coronavirus strain. The measures include a legally-enforceable stay-at-home order.
In addition, takeaway food and hot drinks can only be served outside of a building and a ban has been placed on alcohol consumption in public in Level 4 areas, including those purchased at takeaway services.
New guidance for those shielding has also been introduced. If you are shielding but cannot work from home, do not go to work – the Chief Medical Officer will write to all that this applies to which will act as a doctors note.
How many vaccinations have taken place in Scotland?
As of Mar 9, 1,789,377 people have had their first vaccine in Scotland and 123,686 have received their second dose after the rollout began on Jan 16. Nicola Sturgeon stated on Mar 9 that 40 per cent of adults in Scotland had received their first dose of the vaccine.
Ms Sturgeon said there has been a “temporary dip” in vaccinations being given out in Scotland, as a result of an anticipated drop in supply and the increase in second doses being deployed.
However, the First Minister stressed the programme was continuing according to schedule, as she confirmed that all adults in Scotland should be offered a first dose of the Covid vaccine by the end of July.
Speaking to MSPs in Holyrood, Ms Sturgeon said a dip in supply should be resolved by the middle of this month.
She said: “From about the middle of March onwards, however, we expect supplies to pick up again. This will allow for a very significant acceleration in the vaccination programme.
“It is worth noting that some of these supplies will be of short-dated stock – in other words, they will be of vaccines which must be used very soon after they have been received.”
The Scottish Government will now start to invite people in priority lists eight and nine, which includes those aged between 50 and 59 years old, to receive their first dose.
It follows the Government meeting its initial target of offering the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine to everyone in the top four priority groups on Feb 15.