Breaking: Scotland’s key dates out of lockdown

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The current ‘stay at home’ rule in Scotland looks set to be lifted on April 2, the First Minister has announced.

Appearing before parliament, Nicola Sturgeon unveiled major changes planned for April and May with April 26 in particular seeing a ‘significant’ relaxation of lockdown.

With most of Scotland under a level four lockdown since Boxing Day, by April 26 all those areas are expected to move to level three – after four months.

Travel across mainland Scotland would also be allowed once again from April 26, she said.

The date would also see cafes, restaurants and bars again able to serve people ‘outdoors’ in groups of up to six from three households until 10pm with alcohol permitted.

There will be no requirement to order food. On that date, it is also hoped that ‘limited indoor hospitality’ will be allowed to reopen, but will be restricted to the serving of food and non-alcoholic drinks until 8pm.

Hairdressers look set to be back from April 5 with indoor hospitality expected to return on May 17.

There is no confirmation yet on allowing people from other households to visit each other indoors but the rule is expected to be lifted by May 17 –  if not earlier, she said.


Lifting of ‘stay at home’ rule to initially be replaced by ‘stay local’ for around three weeks.


Contact sports for 12-to-17 year-olds to resume and most students, particularly Further Education, returning to on-campus learning.

Phased reopening of non-essential retail with garden centres, homeware stores, car show rooms and forecourts. Hairdressers, barbers and salons to also reopen for appointments.


It is expected that all parts of Scotland currently in level four to move to a ‘modified’ level three.

Island communities in level three will ‘have the option’ to move to level two, but this is still subject to further discussion.

Restrictions on journeys within mainland Scotland expected to be lifted entirely.

Hospitality sector to reopen with cafes, restaurants and bars able to serve people outdoors in groups of up to six from three households until 10pm with alcohol permitted and no requirement to order food.

It is hoped that there will be ‘limited’ reopening of indoor hospitality – restricted to the serving of food and non-alcoholic drinks until 8pm for groups of up to four from no more than two households.

Venues will be required to retain customers’ contact details for three weeks after their visit.

If hospitality and socialisation on the islands is lifted, there ‘may be’ a need to retain some restrictions on travel to and from the mainland to protect island communities from the importation of the coronavirus.

Journeys between Scotland and other parts of the UK to be lifted – if not on April 26 – then as soon as possible, although it is subject to a review next month.

Libraries, museums and galleries to reopen and indoor gyms to ‘individual’ exercise.

Work in people’s homes to resume along with driving lessons.

Limit on attendance at weddings, funerals and associated receptions increased to 50.

Outdoor socialising to be eased with six people from up to three households able to meet outdoors and with no mainland travel restrictions in place.

12-to-17-year-olds able to meet outdoors with up to six people from six households.

People on the shielding list to return to work and children on the shielding list to return to school, college or university.


It is hoped that all level three areas, or as many as possible, will move to level two.

Indoor hospitality to return to ‘greater normality’ with alcohol served indoors and within more normal opening hours – but possibly subject to some continued restrictions, such as booking in two-hour slots, she said.

Adult outdoor contact sport and indoor group exercise to resume.

Cinemas, amusement  arcades and bingo halls, along with outdoor and indoor events, possibly on a smaller scale to begin with, would restart.

Colleges and universities to return to a more blended model of learning meaning more students on campus.

Face-to-face support services and non-professional performance arts to start again.

Restrictions on outdoor social gatherings to ease further and people meeting up inside each others’ homes again – initially four people from no more than two households – provided it has not been introduced earlier.