New travel advice will not stop people visiting family members, Nicola Sturgeon confirms
The First Minister urged the public to use judgement and said “I have confidence people will do the right thing”
Nicola Sturgeon has urged the public to use “good judgement” when deciding who to visit and which activities to take part in once the coronavirus lockdown begins to be eased next week.
The First Minister also confirmed that the five-mile travel limit discussed in the Scottish Government’s plan out of lockdown would not be strictly enforced and was instead “a guide” which would not stop people visiting family.
She said the rule was intended to stop people congregating at tourist hot-spots and that police would not be checking people’s reasons for travel.
Sturgeon said that more detailed advice on travelling beyond local areas would be published next week.
While she confirmed that Scotland was on track to begin moving to the first phase of the government’s plan to lift restrictions, which included allowing people from one household to meet people from others outside, Sturgeon warned that none of the new freedoms would be allowed until Thursday 28 May.
She said: “Not all of the phase one measures will necessarily be introduced next Thursday, but I hope that most of them will be, or at least a day or two afterwards."
Sturgeon said that the progress towards “some sense of normality” was something to be celebrated, but warned the public against moving too quickly, saying: “the one thing that would slow down lifting of lockdown would be taking foot too quickly off the brake.”
The Scottish Government’s new approach would be “more flexible”, Sturgeon said, and would rely on telling the public to “use good judgement” as advice became more nuanced.
On allowing people to visit family who live some distance away, Sturgeon said the government would not ban such journeys, but was not at this stage encouraging them either.
She said: “If your parents live in Inverness and you live in Glasgow, it's not a case of me telling you not to go, it's about saying what it practically requires to visit them might mean you putting your parents at risk.
She added: “I have confidence people will do the right thing.”
According to the new government advice, people who visit others will not be allowed to enter their homes and must maintain at least a two-metre distance from each other at all times.
Sturgeon repeatedly said none of the new measures would come in to force until Thursday and warned the public against behaving differently over the coming weekend, which she said could jeopardise any progress towards lifting the lockdown.
She said: “I really hope that this time next week, that I'll be telling you to enjoy for the first time in a long while seeing some of your family and friends, as long as you remain outdoors and physically distant.”