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Gyms and swimming pools in Scotland can open from end of August

PA

Gyms and swimming pools in Scotland can open from end of August

Gyms and swimming pools will be allowed to open from 31 August as the First Minister announces the next steps out of lockdown.

Nicola Sturgeon also confirmed that all re-openings penciled in for 24 August – including bingo halls, driving lessons and outdoor sports – will go ahead but warned that these all come with significant caveats.

Sturgeon revealed that there were 77 additional COVID-19 cases since Wednesday – the highest number of new cases in almost three months – and as such she could not announce a move out of Phase 3 to Phase 4.

To move to Phase 4, the virus must no longer be considered a significant risk to public health.

“This is the highest number of new cases in almost three months which underlines the need for continued caution,” Sturgeon said.

“I am not able to indicate today a move from Phase 3 of our lockdown to Phase 4.

"We will remain for now in Phase 3 and I will give notice today that this may well be the case for the next review point too."

Sturgeon also warned that the R number could now be above one in Scotland.

However, she confirmed that some outdoor live events can go ahead from Monday, with physical distancing and enhanced hygiene measures in place, while organised outdoor contact sports could also go ahead with a cap on numbers and indoor advice services could also re-open.

Other changes scheduled for Monday include the re-opening of snooker halls and indoor bowling facilities, amusement arcades and casinos, as well as funfairs.

There are several cases linked to schools, including eight adults who tested positive for COVID-19 at Kingspark School in Dundee, which has resulted in the school being closed.

Sturgeon said it was a priority to keep schools open and would therefore not be announcing a date at this stage for the re-opening of non-essential offices, with the work from home default remaining in place.

“It is because you cannot go to the office that we are able to send children back to school”, she said.

Sturgeon also revealed that greater powers will be given to local authorities to clamp down on individual businesses not complying with guidelines and to the police in a bid to prevent large gatherings in people’s homes.

 

 

 

 

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