Nicola Sturgeon lockdown update: Indoor pubs and restaurants in Scotland to open from Monday – 3 weeks before England
PUBS and shops will reopen to punters INDOORS on Monday in Scotland – three weeks before England.
Nicola Sturgeon revealed more curbs will be eased next next week – with Scots able to enjoy a pint in the sun for the first time in months.
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Pubs will be permitted to sell alcohol outdoors until 10pm, with restaurants able to serve grub indoors until 8pm.
Shoppers will be able to return to major retailers which have been shut since the start of the year due to Covid.
Exercisers can also look forward to gyms and swimming pools across the country reopening on Monday.
Ms Sturgeon said: "Taking all of the recent data into account, I am pleased to confirm today that from Monday April 26 those parts of the country that are currently in Level Four, which of course includes all of the mainland of Scotland, will move down to Level Three.”
It comes after the nationwide travel ban was scrapped last week, with Scots able to leave their local council areas.
The outdoor gathering rules were also relaxed – allowing six people from six households to meet up with each other.
Ms Sturgeon also confirmed today that Scots will be able to travel to anywhere else in the UK from Monday.
But indoor gatherings won’t be permitted to May 17 in a bid to ensure virus cases remain low.
The First Minister said she hopes all of mainland Scotland will be able to move to Level Two restrictions on that date when the rules are reviewed again.
Pubs would be allowed to start selling booze indoors again on May 17 if positive Covid tests keep dropping.
Ms Sturgeon hopes Scotland can then move to Level One restrictions on June 7, with Level Zero curbs then coming into force at the end of the month.
The SNP leader added that the country could approach "something much more like normality" later in the summer.
Under Level Three curbs, close contact services and takeaways can also open their doors again. Tourist accommodation can operate, along with outdoor and indoor visitor attractions.
The number of guests able to attend funerals and weddings in churches will be expanded – with 50 people permitted in total. Driving lessons and tests will also be permitted again.
Ms Sturgeon added: "Please continue to be sensible, take all the necessary precautions, and if we all do that, hard though it is, I am really optimistic that what we have seen at the weekend just past with some easing, the substantial easing we'll see on Monday, and then into May and June, we are on the journey that is much closer to the normal life we are all desperately craving."
Responding to the update, Lib Dem MSP Alex-Cole Hamilton said: "After the year we’ve endured, it's nice to see glimpses of normality returning. People have made huge sacrifices .
“My heart hurts for all the families who lost loved ones. My gratitude goes to our brave NHS workers who did wonders throughout this pandemic, despite the lack of preparation from the SNP government.
"That’s why we cannot let our guard down, we can and should enjoy our coffee and meal with our friend outside, but we must remain careful."
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