Following the success of lockdown restrictions and the vaccination programme, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was able to bring forward the freedom to travel within Scotland to Friday 16 April.
Ms Sturgeon furthermore announced that pubs, cafes and restaurants across North Ayrshire including Arran, Cumbrae, and the rest of Scotland, will be able to serve customers outdoors and indoors as of 26 April, and shops will fully reopen.
We could be allowed to start indoor socialising as of 17 May, provided that the data would support such a move at that time. Today’s key Routemap updates are:
From Friday 16
From Friday this week, we can travel anywhere within Scotland for the purposes of outdoor socialising, recreation, and informal exercise
Outdoor meet ups will be permitted for 6 adults, from up to 6 households
You will be able to meet family and friends who live in different parts of the country
Meetings at this stage must still be outdoors – not inside homes
From 26 April
Parts of Scotland currently in level 4 will move to level 3; shops will fully reopen; pubs, cafes and restaurants will be able to open outdoors - and indoors on a more restricted basis
Our islands will be aligned with the rest of Scotland and move to Level 3 for a period so the tourist economy, which so many islanders rely on, can operate more normally from 26 April
From 17 May onwards
It’s currently anticipated that all of Scotland will move to level 2 on 17 May, level 1 in early June and level 0 in late June
We should be able to meet in each other’s homes – albeit in small groups – from the middle of May onwards
Later this summer, it’s hoped that a level of normality beyond level 0 will become possible
It might be the case that we have to endure restrictions on international travel for a bit longer, as the price for greater normality here in Scotland
Cunninghame North SNP Candidate Kenneth Gibson commented:
“Today’s announcement will have given many a spring in their step, as long as we remember the best way to keep on making progress out of lockdown is to continue to keep cases low.
“While together we have forced COVID-19 to retreat in Scotland, it’s still with us and, sadly, taking lives. We must continue to stick to the rules that are in place - don’t meet up with other households in your or their homes for now.
“The further we advance, the more restrictions can be lifted and the easier it will be for all of us to safely enjoy those things we used to take for granted.”
The updated Protection Levels can be found here.