Coronavirus: Lockdown easing and face mask rules announced in Scotland

Lockdown restrictions in Scotland will be eased further on Friday, Nicola Sturgeon announced as the country moves to the next phase of its coronavirus response.

The first minister said people who live on their own or only with children under 18 are able to form an “extended household group” from Friday.

This means they can meet indoors without social distancing and can stay overnight as part of transition to phase two of the Scottish government’s four-step plan to gradually lift restrictions.

Other new measures include:

  • Scots can meet two other households at the same time while outside – up to a maximum of eight people from Friday
  • They will also be able to go inside to use the toilet when meeting in someone else’s garden
  • Anyone leaving home should stay within a roughly five-mile radius of their home for recreational purposes
  • Anyone shielding can go outside for exercise from Friday
  • They can also meet people from one other household – maintaining social distancing
  • Face coverings will be mandatory on public transport in Scotland from Monday

Announcing the changes in a statement at the Scottish parliament, Ms Sturgeon said there has been “clear and sustained” progress in tackling the virus.

“Though we are moving to phase two today, we are still being cautious and we are not going to do everything at once,” she said.

“We will take a staged approach to avoid bearing all of the risk at the same time.”

Ms Sturgeon added that from Monday the Scottish construction sector will move to the next phase of its restart plan.

Dentists will also be able to open, professional sport can resume and places of worship will be able to reopen – although only for individual prayer and not services.

From 29 June, outdoor markets, playgrounds and sports facilities will reopen in Scotland, along with attractions such as zoos, although visitors should not travel more than five miles from their homes and tickets should be bought in advance.

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