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Scotland enters first phase of lockdown easing plan

Fraser Bremner/Scottish Daily Mail/PA Wire/PA Images

Scotland enters first phase of lockdown easing plan

Households can meet up outdoors and some sporting activities can return as the Scottish Government moves to phase one of lifting coronavirus restrictions

People in Scotland will be allowed to meet friends and family outdoors as coronavirus lockdown restrictions begin to be eased from Friday, Nicola Sturgeon confirmed.

Some outdoor leisure activities such as golf, tennis, bowls and fishing are to be permitted and people will also be allowed to sit down in public areas such as parks.

The First Minister also confirmed announced that teachers would be allowed to begin preparing for the partial re-opening of schools from Monday 1 June onwards.

The Scottish Government will officially move to phase one of its lockdown easing plan just as its new testing strategy comes into effect.

The ‘test and protect’ system will mean that as restrictions are eased anybody who develops symptoms of COVID-19 must contact NHS Inform to organise a test and alert teams of NHS contact tracers of all people they may have come into close contact with.

All identified individuals will be told to self-isolate immediately along with their households for a period of 14 days.

Sturgeon said that the strategy will be a crucial part in controlling the virus in the weeks ahead and urged people to be cautious as they begin to see their friends and family again.

She said her core message is still for people to “stay at home as much as possible,” and urged the public not to flock to beauty spots or gather in large crowds.

It is the Scottish Government’s “strong advice,” she said, not to travel more than five miles from home.

From Friday, people from two households can meet in an outdoor setting while observing a distance of two meters at all times.

Groups should be a maximum of eight people. Meeting people from more then one household at a time is not permitted and people are not allowed to enter each other’s homes.

Sturgeon said that if meeting people in a park for a picnic, for example, that each household should bring their own food and cutlery and should avoid touching any of the same surfaces.

While she said that people would be happy to see members of their families again for the first time in over two months, she also said that she was “worried” that the limited changes could lead to people going too far.

She warned that “things should still feel different to normal” and said that “the virus is still but there and we cannot forget that”.

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