Scotland’s first minister has confirmed that the further easing of Scotland’s lockdown restrictions will go ahead as planned, including the reopening of gyms.
Addressing the Scottish Parliament on 20 April, Nicola Sturgeon said there will be a significant easing of restrictions across retail, hospitality and travel from 26 April, as well as widely available Covid testing for people without symptoms.
So what did she say about gyms and swimming pools – and when will they open?
When will gyms reopen?
Gyms and swimming pools can reopen from 26 April for individual exercise, according to the latest update from Sturgeon.
Group exercise in gyms and adult outdoor contact sport will be allowed from 17 May.
From the end of June, all types of sports will be allowed.
In addition to gyms, pubs, restaurants, non-essential retail, libraries, museums and galleries will also reopen at this stage.
Sturgeon said: “The changes that come into force next week have been hard earned by all of us. I know that many will be looking forward – quite rightly – to their first drink in a beer garden, to catching up with a friend in a café, or to going on holiday somewhere in Scotland.
“But even as we enjoy those moments, we still need to be careful. We must remember the virus is more infectious now than it was when bars and cafés were last open, so we must still stick to the rules. However, we are hopeful of seeing sustained progress in the weeks and months ahead.
What are the other rules on exercise?
Since 12 March, up to four adults from two households have been able to meet locally in any outdoor space, including in private gardens, for social and recreational purposes as well as exercise.
On Friday 16 April, the ‘rule of six’ was reintroduced, allowing groups of six adults from six different households to meet up outdoors, as well as children under 12.
Outdoor non-contact sports and group exercise have also been allowed for adults in groups of up to 15 people.
Young people aged 12 to 17 have also been able to participate in organised activities in groups of up to 15 and travel into other local authorities to participate in organised activities.
From 17 May, all restrictions on exercise outdoors will be lifted, as a return to adult contact sport is expected.
What rules could be put in place in Scottish gyms?
Mainland Scotland, which is currently under level four lockdown measures, will initially drop to level three restrictions.
Level three restrictions previously included a reduced maximum capacity and booking system to trace everyone who attends, as well as a one-way system mapped out with signage.
Additionally, all classes were cancelled and people were not allowed to work out together indoors.
Face masks are likely to be required for walking around the gym floor and entering and exiting the gym.
The First Minister has said some changes to levelled restrictions could be introduced before the easing of restrictions, so some of these restrictions could change.
Who can get tested for Covid?
From 26 April, lateral flow home test kits will be available to anyone who does not have COVID-19 symptoms.
They can be picked up from local walk/drive-through test sites for people to test themselves twice-weekly.
Anyone in Scotland who develops COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate and book a PCR test.
The expansion is aimed at finding cases that would otherwise go undetected, so those people can self-isolate and avoid transmitting the virus to those around them.