What has changed as Scotland accelerates easing of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions

ITV News Scotland Correspondent Peter Smith explains why families can meet up earlier than expected

Nicola Sturgeon has accelerated lockdown easing in Scotland, with some travel restrictions lifted and more people able to meet up outside from Friday.

Here are the key dates in the Scottish Government’s current plan to exit lockdown:

– Steps already taken:

In March, all primary pupils returned to full time teaching and secondary schools on a blended basis, with senior pupils going back to class full time over this and next week.

Communal worship also returned last month, with congregations capped at 50 people.

On April 2, the “stay at home” order changed to “stay local”, allowing travel within a local authority area for non-essential purposes.

Barbers reopened in Scotland on April 5 Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA

Hairdressers and barbers opened in Scotland for pre-booked appointments on April 5.

Click-and-collect shopping also resumed, and homeware shops and garden centres began welcoming back customers.

Outdoor contact sports for 12-17-year also returned.

– From April 16

People will be able to leave their local authority area for the purposes of socialising, recreation or exercise, though travel between the mainland and some islands will not be permitted.

Rules on gatherings will also be relaxed, with six adults from up to six households able to meet up outside.

– From April 26:

Up to four people from two households can socialise indoors in a public place, such as a cafe or restaurant.

Hospitality venues like cafes, pubs and restaurants can open until 8pm indoors – but without alcohol – and 10pm outdoors where alcohol is allowed to be consumed.

Gyms can open for individual exercise.

All shops, stores and close contact services can open.

Tourist accommodation can open with restrictions in place.

Driving lessons and tests can resume.

Funerals and weddings including post-funeral events and receptions can take place with up to 50 people, but no alcohol may be served.

Indoor attractions and public buildings such as galleries, museums and libraries can open.

Travel will also be allowed on this date to other parts of Britain, with reviews planned on journeys to Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Pubs can sell alcohol outside from April 26 Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA

– From May 17:

Up to four people from two households can socialise indoors.

Hospitality venues can open and sell alcohol indoors until 10.30pm or outdoors until 10pm.

Outdoor adult contact sport and indoor group exercise can restart.

Cinemas, amusement arcades, and bingo halls can open.

Small-scale outdoor and indoor events can resume subject to capacity constraints.

Face-to-face support services (where not possible to deliver remotely) can resume.

Universities and colleges can return to a more blended model of learning. Non-professional performance arts can resume outdoors.

Communal worship can increase, subject to capacity constraints.

– From early June:

Up to six people from up to three households can socialise indoors in a home or public place.

Hospitality can remain open until 11pm.

Attendance at events can increase, subject to capacity constraints.

Indoor non-contact sport can take place.

Numbers of guests at weddings, funerals and in places of worship may be able to increase.

– From late June:

A phased return of some office staff.

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