Scotland lockdown: Indoor mixing allowed and pubs to fully open as Sturgeon confirms 17 May lifting of restrictions

Though Moray will remain in Level 3 due to case surge

Liam James
Tuesday 11 May 2021 20:08
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Coronavirus in numbers

Lockdown restrictions will be eased across most of Scotland next week, Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.

The coronavirus protection level will be brought down from Monday, allowing indoor mixing between separate households and pubs and restaurants to serve customers inside.

While most of the country will move to Level 2, Moray will remain in Level 3 due to a surge in cases and hospital admissions.

In Level 2, four people from two households can meet indoors, with hugging and overnight stays permitted, and travel around Scotland and the rest of the UK is allowed.

Cafes, pubs and restaurants are permitted to serve food and alcohol indoors until 10.30pm for groups of a maximum six people from up to three households.

Cinemas, music venues, theatres and other entertainment facilities can reopen with social distancing requirements for a maximum of 100 people per event.

People will be allowed to attend sporting and other outdoor seated events, at a maximum capacity of 500 people.

Scotland’s first minister said the freedom to travel will not include Moray, where coming and going will be limited to “permitted purposes only”.

Case numbers in Moray are nearly four times that of the rest of the country, Ms Sturgeon said.

“It’s against that backdrop that, unless the situation was to materially improve over the next few days, it would simply not be safe or sensible to ease restrictions there from Monday,” she said.

Making the announcement in a government press briefing, Ms Sturgeon hailed the “huge success” of the vaccination programme in bringing down Scotland’s coronavirus figures.

Case numbers have dropped in the past three weeks from an average of 226 per day to 177 per day, she said, adding that a slight increase across the country was mainly due to the Moray outbreak.

“The situation in Moray, together with the emergence of new variants globally, should be a sharp reminder to all of us that the virus remains a real threat,” she said.

Additional reporting by agencies

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