Covid in Scotland: Stay-at-home order lifted but people told to stay local as lockdown restrictions eased

People will now be able to travel for non-essential purposes so long as they stay within a local authority area

The stay-at-home order is no longer in effect in Scotland, but people are now encouraged to stay local.

The new advice to stay local will allow people to travel within a local authority area for non-essential purposes.

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The First Minister said she will give further updates as the month goes on, but that Scotland is on course to ease restrictions further.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and an empty Ingram Street In Glasgow City Centre during lockdown (Photos by JANE BARLOW/POOL/AFP via Getty Images and Shutterstock)

When will measures be relaxed further?

From Monday, hairdressers and barbers can reopen for pre-booked appointments, click and collect shopping will be permitted, and homeware shops and garden centres can welcome back customers.

University and college students can also return for in-person teaching and outdoor contact sports for 12-17-year olds may resume.

Cafes, restaurants, shops and gyms are due to open from April 26 and more people will be allowed to meet up outdoors.

Non-essential shops, libraries, museums and galleries will also reopen from April 26, and six people from up to three households will be able to meet outdoors.

Beer gardens will also be able to open from that date, the First Minister has said.

Pubs will have to wait until May 17 to reopen indoors.

Will there be limitations on hospitality?

"Cafes, restaurants and bars will be able to serve people outdoors, in groups of up to six from three households, until 10pm," Ms Sturgeon said.

"Alcohol will be permitted, and there will be no requirement for food to be served."

Hospitality will be able to open indoors on the same day until 8pm, but only for food and non-alcoholic drinks.

The First Minister said continued suppression of the virus "will allow us to enjoy many of the things that we took for granted before the pandemic - for example, normal family gatherings where we can hug our loved ones, sporting events, gigs and nightclubs".

She said she hoped that vaccination and Test and Protect would lead Scotland closer to normality, but added she could not say when restrictions would be fully lifted.

‘Optimistic’

"For me to set a precise date for all of that right now would involve plucking it out of thin air - and I'd be doing it to make my life easier, not yours," she said.

"I am not going to do that. But I do believe that over the coming weeks, as more and more adults are vaccinated, it will be possible to set a firmer date by which many of these normal things will be possible.

"I am optimistic that this date will be over the summer.

"I know I will not be the only one now looking forward, with a real sense of hope, to hugging my family this summer."