Stur­geon tells of ‘cau­tious hope and op­ti­mism’ in lock­down exit

Evening Times - - NEWS - BY STE­WART PATER­SON

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

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