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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

COVID-19 Restrictions to be eased to Level 3 on Monday

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that all of Scotland will move to Level 3 from Monday 26 April.

The remaining travel restrictions within Scotland will be lifted and travel within the UK will be permitted for any purpose. If everyone continues to follow the rules, the First Minister said it is expected that all of Scotland will move to Level 2 on Monday 17 May.

Travel between the mainland, Arran and Cumbrae is already permitted.

From Monday 26 April, hospitality venues such as cafés, pubs and restaurants can reopen, along with tourist accommodation. Non-essential retail outlets and close contact services such as beauty salons can also reopen, in addition to indoor attractions and public buildings such as galleries, museums and libraries.

Further changes from Monday include:

  • Adults on the shielding list can return to the workplace, if they cannot work from home, while children who have been shielding can return to school

  • Non-essential work inside people’s homes – such as painting, decorating or repairing – will be permitted, subject to mitigations

  • Non-essential informal childcare will resume

  • Driving lessons and tests can take place, while gyms and swimming pools can reopen for individual exercise

  • The attendance limit for funerals and weddings – and related events such as receptions – will increase to 50

  • Cafés, pubs and restaurants can resume full outdoor service, subject to local licensing, and serve food indoors without alcohol until 8pm

  • Takeaways to resume normal service, with physical distancing and face masks in premises

The First Minister also announced that rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) tests will be made available to anyone in Scotland and to those planning island travel.

From today, anyone planning travel to the islands next week can order a free home test kit online. The first test should be taken three days before travel and the second on the day of departure.

From Monday, lateral flow home test kits will be available from local walk/drive-through test sites to anyone in the wider population who does not have COVID-19 symptoms.

As restrictions are eased, this testing expansion is aimed at finding cases that would otherwise go undetected, so those people can self-isolate and avoid transmitting the virus to those around them.

Cunninghame North SNP Candidate Kenneth Gibson said:

“It’s heartening to have confirmation that people can soon meet friends in a café for lunch. Nevertheless, we must bear in mind that the virus is more infectious now than it was when bars and cafés were last open so we should continue to stick to the guidelines.

“Even if you do not have COVID-19 symptoms, please do take two lateral flow tests for COVID-19 before you depart for Arran or Cumbrae, to ensure our island communities are protected. If you are travelling to an island next week, it is possible to get tests from today.”

Anyone in Scotland who develops COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate and book a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test here.

People should check the rules on entry to Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and Isle of Man before travel.

Pre-departure testing covers travel to all Scottish islands. For more information go to:

Updated Strategic Framework Protection Level tables can be downloaded at:



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