Scotland lockdown: Shops, gyms, pools and pubs reopen

Scotland has seen coronavirus restrictions change from level 4 to level 3

Chantal da Silva
Monday 26 April 2021 09:58 BST
Comments
Members of the public enjoy their first drink in a beer garden at SWG3 on 6 July, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. Now, residents will be able to return to pubs and other venues amid an easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
Members of the public enjoy their first drink in a beer garden at SWG3 on 6 July, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. Now, residents will be able to return to pubs and other venues amid an easing of Covid-19 restrictions. (Getty Images)

Cafes, pubs, gyms, museums and non-essential shops across Scotland are reopening on Monday as the country eases out of lockdown.

Moving from level 4 to level 3 under Scotland’s five-tier system of coronavirus restrictions, residents across the country will be able to enjoy new freedoms – albeit with some Covid-19 measures still in place.

Under rules set down by the Scottish government, residents will be able to meet up in groups of up to six from two households in indoor public venues, including cafes and restaurants.

Meanwhile, people can meet up in groups of up to six from as many as six households outdoors for gatherings in private gardens, parks or the outdoor area of a cafe.

Residents under the age of 12 do not count towards the total number of people or households meeting outside, but they are counted in indoor gatherings.

Scots will also be able to travel to England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

Funerals and weddings will be allowed to take place with up to 50 people and alcohol permitted.

But members of the public will still be expected to follow coronavirus measures, including social distancing, handwashing and wearing masks when required.

The easing of restrictions comes after Nicola Sturgeon announced last week that the country would be able to move forward in lifting rules thanks to the continued suppression of the spread of Covid-19 and the success of the country’s vaccine rollout.

In Scotland’s most recent report on the country’s coronavirus outbreak, published on Friday, the government said an average of 220 cases had been reported per day in the seven days leading up to 22 April, representing a 12 per cent decrease in reported cases since the week leading up to 15 April.

“There were 28 weekly cases per 100,000 in the week to 19 April, which is a decrease since last week,” the report said. “This compares to 302 weekly cases per 100,000 on 8 January and is similar to the weekly case rate observed on 16 September.”

In a tweet on Monday, Ms Sturgeon offered her “best wishes to businesses opening up today”.

“Recent months have been tough, but your sacrifices have helped save lives – thank you,” she said.

“To those heading to shops/cafes/pubs today – enjoy!” Ms Sturgeon continued. However, she also offered a warning, asking residents to “please take care and respect staff asking you to take precautions for your own safety”.

The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) has already put out a call for consumers to visit their favourite shops over the coming weeks to helps support the economy.

“We encourage Scots to get out and visit their favourite shops over the coming weeks knowing every purchase they make and every item they buy is a local job supported and a high street helped,” David Lonsdale, SRC director, told the PA.

“Unlocking consumer spending will be central to Scotland‘s economic recovery and to bouncing back quickly,” he said.

Meanwhile, Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of Visit Scotland told the press agency that it was also important to invest in tourism.

“It is clear that tourism has been one of the greatest economic casualties of the pandemic,” he said. “We’ve had a year of very little investment, job losses and business closures - it will take time and significant investment to get us back to a thriving industry.”

“With the right support, tourism and events can lead the economic recovery and boost inward investment where it’s needed most, but to do that the industry needs the support of people living in Scotland in the first instance,” he said.

“Many businesses are reopening after months of no trade, and with staycations set to be popular again this year, there is a real opportunity for us all to rally round and show our support for local tourism,” Mr Roughead said.

Additional reporting by agencies

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in