Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon | Pool photo by Fraser Bremner/Getty Images
EDINBURGH — Some coronavirus lockdown restrictions are likely to be eased in Scotland from next week, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced Thursday.
Speaking to the Scottish parliament, Sturgeon unveiled her four-phase “route map” for easing restrictions while still suppressing the virus. Phase one measures will provisionally begin from May 28, though the first minister confirmed this is subject to “public health advice” and some steps could be postponed.
Scotland has been slower to lift lockdown measures than England and Sturgeon last week criticized Boris Johnson’s government in Westminster for its approach. Scottish Secretary Alister Jack later admitted Johnson’s address to the nation on his coronavirus exit plan did “cause some confusion” for people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland because the changes only applied to England.
From May 28, people in Scotland will be allowed to meet people from outside their own household and play some sports such as tennis and golf, providing they practice social distancing. Traveling for exercise will also be permitted, though people are asked to stay as close to their own homes as possible.
Recycling and garden centers will reopen, and some outdoor work will also resume. Indoor cafés, restaurants and pubs will remain closed as part of phase one, and visiting other houses will also not be allowed.
“I hope that these steps will bring some improvements to people’s well-being and quality of life,” Sturgeon said, “as well as start to get our economy moving again.
“The message will still remain [that people should] stay at home as much as possible.”