Sturgeon tells of ‘cautious hope and optimism’ in lockdown exit
NICOLA Sturgeon has announced what she called the “most significant milestone yet” in exiting lockdown. The First Minister said Scotland will move from Phase Two to Phase Three with changes to meeting indoors and more businesses able to open.
However, she warned with 1000 still estimated to be infected with coronavirus in Scotland “we mess with it at our peril”.
From today households can meet in groups of up to 15 people from five households outdoors.
Indoors, eight people from three households can meet with physical distancing. It includes overnight stays.
Adults should not meet with any more than four other households in the same day.
From Monday, outdoor sports for children can take place.
Shops with indoor entrances like shopping malls can reopen.
Dentists can reopen but only for check ups and work like braces.
Treatment that involves high speed drilling is still too much of a risk.
Women can be accompanied to ante and post-natal appointments.
From Wednesday, indoor restaurants, pubs and cafes can open.
They can have an exemption to the two metre rule but must have mitigating measures in place like clear signage, revised seating plans and improved ventilation.
Holiday accommodation, including hotels, can reopen as can museums libraries and cinemas with distancing measures in place.
Ms Sturgeon announced two more changes that were not initially planned for.
She said places of worship can open for congregational services but there will be restrictions on singing and chanting.
And there will be an easing on numbers attending wedding and civil partnership ceremonies and funerals. However, receptions and wakes need to follow the same rules for hospitality and for numbers of households meeting indoors.
Bingo halls and gyms, the First Minister said, would have to wait a little longer before they could open. The First Ministers said: “This is the most significant milestone yet in exiting lockdown.”
She added: “We should all savour our first indoor meetings and meals with friends, our first pint in a pub or catch up over coffee. “Many of us are looking forward to our first non-amateur haircut in months.”
However she warned that the danger still existed and meeting up more indoors posed a greater risk of it being allowed to spread.
She said: “Covid is still out there. We mess with it at our peril.”
She said when meeting indoors we must “deny it the chance to spread”.
The latest statistics showed there were no deaths in the last 24 hours leaving the total at 2490.
There were six new cases reported taking the total since the outbreak began to 18,315.
The number in hospital with suspected or confirmed was 646, which was a decrease of 121 since the day before and a drop of 16 in confirmed cases taking that total to 342.
There were nine people in intensive care a drop of two, but there were only three who were confirmed as having the virus.
In the Greater Glasgow area the total cases stood at 4865.
Nicola Sturgeon said Scots should savour the chance to enjoy meeting indoors for the first time in three months