Restrictions on travel and outdoor meetings to be eased in Scotland from Friday

Nicola Sturgeon announces plans to lift ‘stay local’ travel advice in Scotland on Friday

Acceleration of roadmap follows better than expected Covid data

Kate Devlin
Whitehall Editor
Tuesday 13 April 2021 12:26

Nicola Sturgeon has announced that the current advice to “stay local” in Scotland will be lifted on Friday.

On the same day, up to six adults from six households will also be able to meet up outside, Scotland’s first minister said.

The acceleration of Scotland’s roadmap out of lockdown was “positive” and based on better than expected coronavirus data, she said.

She denied that the upcoming Holyrood elections were a consideration in her thinking.

Scots go to the polls next month in a vote the SNP says could give the party a mandate for another independence referendum.

Despite the changes, Scots will still be restricted from travelling across the border into England, where pubs opened on Monday, for another two weeks.

Ms Sturgeon also warned that international travel remained a “significant risk”.

Continued restrictions on flying overseas could be the “price we pay” for more normality in Scotland, she said.

The progress that has been made is down to the successful vaccination programme and the “sacrifices” Scots have made, she said.

But she warned: “Covid is in retreat in Scotland … but it will come back if we allow it to come back.”

However, she added: “As the summer progresses we do expect to see a return to much greater normality.”

There are now fewer than 300 cases of Covid-19 recorded a day in Scotland – the lowest level since late September.

Other changes to the previously announced roadmap include that travel between the Scottish islands and the mainland will now be allowed from the end of April and Scots should be able to meet in small groups inside private homes by mid-May.

Scotland has five tiers of coronavirus restrictions.

At the moment, all of Scotland, bar some of the islands, is in the highest tier, level 4.

Ms Sturgeon said she was confident the country will move down levels as currently planned.

“We are now extremely confident that those parts of the country currently in level 4 will move to level 3 on 26 April, that’s now less than two weeks away,” she said.

“That means, among other things, that on that day, shops will fully reopen. Pubs, cafes and restaurants will also be able to fully open outdoors on 26 April and will be able to open indoors on that date, but on a restricted basis.”

Join our new commenting forum

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

View comments