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Relaxation of travel restrictions and reopening of hairdressers among latest route-map steps

By Alan Hendry

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Nicola Sturgeon said the sacrifices that have been made have suppressed the virus, but it will continue to pose a significant threat for some time to come.
Nicola Sturgeon said the sacrifices that have been made have suppressed the virus, but it will continue to pose a significant threat for some time to come.

Provisional dates for the relaxation of travel restrictions, restarting of the hospitality industry and reopening of hairdressers are among the latest route-map measures announced today by Nicola Sturgeon.

Setting out indicative dates, the First Minister stressed that while sustained progress has been made to suppress Covid-19 the changes remain contingent on scientific and public health advice.

Physical distancing of two metres continues to be required in Scotland. Ms Sturgeon confirmed that the Scientific Advisory Group is providing advice on higher transmission risk settings and physical distancing and that she will provide a further update on July 2, ahead of the proposed dates for reopening hospitality.

Detailed sectoral guidance will be published ahead of indicative dates and the Scottish Government will join with the retail sector in a campaign to encourage the use of face coverings in all shops.

Indicative phase three dates announced today are intended to give businesses time to prepare for reopening while adhering to public health and physical distancing measures to protect workers and customers. Final decisions on moving into phase three will be taken in line with the statutory three-weekly review cycle, due on July 9.

Indicative phase two dates:

  • July 3 – Travel distance limit for leisure will be lifted
  • July 3 – Self-catering holiday accommodation will be permitted, providing it requires no shared facilities between households
  • July 6 – Outdoor hospitality can commence subject to the Scientific Advisory Group review

Indicative phase three dates:

  • July 10 – People can meet in extended groups outdoors, with physical distancing
  • July 10 – Households can meet indoors with up to a maximum of two households, with physical distancing
  • July 13 – Organised outdoor contact sport can resume for children and young people, subject to guidance
  • July 13 – All dental practices begin to see registered patients for non-aerosol routine care, and work will begin to return aerosol generating procedures to practice safely
  • July 13 – Increasing capacity within community optometry practices for emergency and essential eye care
  • July 13 – Non-essential shops inside shopping centres can reopen, subject to the Scientific Advisory Group review
  • July 15 – All childcare providers can open subject to individual provider arrangements
  • July 15 – All holiday accommodation will be permitted
  • July 15 – Indoor hospitality can reopen, subject to the Scientific Advisory Group review
  • July 15 – Hairdressers and barbers can reopen with enhanced hygiene measures
  • July 15 – Museums, galleries, cinemas, monuments, libraries will reopen with physical distancing and other measures, such as ticketing in advance

Announcing the route-map changes, Ms Sturgeon said: “The sacrifices that have been made – and I know how hard and at times painful they have been – have suppressed the virus. They have also protected the NHS, and have undoubtedly saved a significant number of lives.

“They have also brought us to the position where we can now look ahead with a bit more clarity to our path out of lockdown, and I hope details announced today will provide people and businesses with more certainty in their forward planning.

“But let me be clear that each step on this path depends on us continuing to beat the virus back. That is why we must do everything in our power to avoid steps being reversed.

“The central point in all of this is the virus will not go away of its own accord. It will pose a real and significant threat to us for some time to come.

“Maintaining our progress also means all of us abiding by public health guidance. Wearing face coverings in enclosed spaces, avoiding crowded places, washing our hands and cleaning surfaces regularly, maintaining physical distancing, agreeing to immediately self-isolate and get a test if we have symptoms... all of these basic protections matter now more than ever as we all get out and about a bit more.”

Previously announced phase two measures commencing Monday:

  • Indoor (non-office) workplaces resume once relevant guidance is implemented. These include factories, warehouses, labs and research facilities, but exclude indoor workplaces due to open in phase three (such as non-essential offices and call centres).
  • Street-access retail can reopen once guidance is implemented. Interiors of shopping centres/malls remain closed for non-essential shops until phase three.
  • Outdoor markets can reopen once guidance is implemented
  • Relaxation on restrictions on housing moves
  • Outdoor sports courts can reopen
  • Playgrounds can reopen
  • Registration offices open for high-priority tasks
  • Marriages and civil partnerships allowed with minimal attendees, strictly outdoors only
  • Zoos and garden attractions can open for local access only (broadly within five miles) until July 3

Jamie Stone, the Liberal Democrat MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, said: "I am really glad that the First Minister has reached the same conclusion as me that opening up the outdoor hospitality industry – providing it can be done safely – should align with the proposed date for opening up the tourism industry on the 15th.

“I had raised concerns last week that our local businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry should have as much time to prepare as possible before the Scottish Government let them open up. I am really pleased that the First Minister has decided to make this statement now rather than later.

“I still need some clarity on why ‘self-contained’ holidays – like caravans and cottages – will be allowed from July 3, not the 15th. This isn’t so much a criticism as an ask – once again – for publishing the rationale behind these two separate dates. Without transparency on this, we cannot hope to assure local people and indeed tourists that holidaying to the Highlands is safe.”

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