Covid: Scotland's lockdown restrictions to ease on Monday

Credit: PA

Beer gardens, cafes, shops and gyms are to reopen in Scotland on Monday as Nicola Sturgeon confirmed lockdown easing will go ahead as planned.

The First Minister said the continued suppression of the virus and the success of the vaccine rollout means some restrictions can be lifted.

On Monday, the country will move from Level 4 to Level 3 of the Scottish Government's five tiers of restrictions which means cafes, restaurants and beer gardens can open, along with shops, gyms, libraries and museums.

Gyms will also be permitted to open on Monday in Scotland. Credit: PA

Hospitality will need to close at 8pm indoors and 10pm outdoors, with alcohol only allowed to be served outside.

Travel between Scotland, England and Wales will be permitted and tourist accommodation can welcome back visitors.

Funerals and weddings - including post-funeral events and receptions - will be allowed to take place with up to 50 people, but no alcohol may be served. Other changes include the resumption of driving lessons and tests.

Wedding will also be able to go ahead with 50 people - but no alcohol allowed. Credit: PA

The First Minister told the briefing that two deaths from coronavirus and 178 positive tests have been recorded in the past 24 hours.

This continued decline in the number of cases means the country could relax restrictions, she said.

Further lockdown easing is due to take place on May 17, with Scotland planning to move to Level 2 of its restrictions, and to Level 1 on June 7.

Here's a look at the main changes from Monday, 26 April:

Responding to the First Minister’s Covid statement, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said: “They would never have thought that the first lockdown would take as long as it did; I’m not sure they thought the second lockdown would take as long as it did – huge sacrifices have been made - and hopefully this is the start of us getting some normality back in our lives while remaining cautious."

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross has called on the SNP to give more clarity to business owners. He said: “While caution is important, leaving restrictions in force for longer than they are needed will only harm livelihoods and our economy unnecessarily.

"Undue caution is killing the economy and costing jobs. We see evidence that youth unemployment is rising fast. We owe it to young people to focus on retaining jobs and creating opportunities.

And Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton has called on the SNP to 'beef up' the test and trace system. He said:"If new strains arrive in the Scotland we must have the resources in place to swiftly crush them before they can spread."