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Scotland to move to next phase of lockdown easing
10th July 2020
People in Scotland will be able to visit other households indoors and stay overnight as the country enters the next phase of easing the lockdown. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that coronavirus had been suppressed to a "low level". People will be allowed to meet up in extended groups outdoors, and with two other households indoors, from today.
Exemptions to the 2m (6ft 6in) physical distancing rule will also be introduced from 10 July, although the use of face coverings in shops will be mandatory. Couples who do not live together will no longer have to physically distance from Friday onwards, and dates have been set in the coming weeks for the reopening of bars and restaurants, hairdressers and barbers, and the tourist industry.
The changes which take effect from Friday will increase the size of gatherings that will be allowed in Scotland, and let people meet up indoors for the first time.
Shopping centres will be able to reopen from Monday 13 July, when dentists and optometrists will be allowed to begin scaling up their work again.
Hairdressers and barbers will resume business from 15 July, with enhanced hygiene measures in place, and indoor areas of bars and restaurants can reopen the same day - along with libraries, museums and cinemas.
Ms Sturgeon also set a date for the first time for the reopening of personal retail services like beauticians and nail salons, which can happen from 22 July.
Universities and colleges can implement a phased return to campuses from that date, while Scotland's schools are due to reopen in full from 11 August.However, no date has yet been set for the reopening of "non-essential" offices, indoor gyms, entertainment venues like theatres and bingo halls, or the resumption of live outdoor events.
Dr Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce said:
“Today’s confirmation by the First Minister that the country can now return to more normality will be very much welcomed by all, particularly businesses that are due to reopen and begin to build up their trade. Hospitality and tourism businesses now need time to plan therefore the exact detail around the mitigations they will be expected to put in place to safely reduce physical distancing to 1m from 2m is needed now."
“Our business communities across Scotland are eager and ready to get back to work in order to breathe life back into our economy and protect the livelihoods it supports. Businesses have invested heavily to comply with all health & safety regulations and government guidance. We are firmly open for business and would ask everyone to come out and support your local businesses."
“The next great challenge is now determining if consumer demand can be stimulated and maintained as government support measures taper off in the next few months.’’