Progress continues but caution urged to suppress COVID-19
Further changes to lockdown restrictions in Scotland have been announced today (Thursday, 18 June) by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Those shielding are now able to go outdoors for exercise from today. From tomorrow (Friday, 19 June) those shielding can take part in non-contact outdoor activities and can meet one other household, in groups of no more than eight outdoors. Physical distancing and strict hygiene measures must still be followed, even if you live with those people.
From tomorrow anyone living alone or only with children under 18 can form an ‘extended household group’ with one other household. This does not apply to households with people who are shielding. Extended household groups can meet indoors with overnight stays permitted and without physical distancing, but any other household meetings must remain strictly outdoors and at a two metre distance. Members of an extended household group should not form a similar arrangement with any other household.
From Monday, 29 June some indoor workplaces can re-open, including factories, labs and warehouses, subject to strict physical distancing, hygiene and health and safety guidance, but non-essential offices and call centres should remain closed. All retail premises with outdoor entrances and exits can also re-open from 29 June. Ahead of that date local authorities and retailers are urged to plan for the responsible use of public space, such as removing unnecessary street furniture, designing systems to manage queuing and pedestrian thoroughfares, and implementing adequate measures to support physical distancing.
It remains government advice to wear a face covering in enclosed areas where physical distancing is difficult, such as shops, and from Monday, 22 June, it will become mandatory to wear a face covering on all public transport.
A date for the re-opening of outdoor hospitality cannot be safely set at this stage. A further update will be provided on 2 July. Further advice from the Scientific Advisory Group has been commissioned based on emerging evidence suggesting communal spaces such as hospitality can present a higher risk of transmission.
Physical distancing guidance remains to stay two metres apart from people outside your household. Advice has also been commissioned on circumstances and settings, including schools and transport, where with additional mitigation it may be possible to balance the risk of a shorter distance.
Announcing the measures, the First Minister said:
“Thank you for the personal sacrifices you’re making to tackle this pandemic. You’ve demonstrated remarkable dedication to our national wellbeing - that effort should never be underestimated, and my thanks can never be overstated.
“Because of your actions, we can now – gradually and carefully – change some restrictions.
“In deciding when to implement each measure in our staged approach, we have to think about how a decision in one area affects life in other areas. Our test and protect system is important to our gradual return to living more freely while suppressing the virus, and early indications suggest it’s already working well.
“I know for those shielding, the requirement to stay indoors at all times, without meeting up with anyone, has been incredibly tough. I hope that this change to our advice can provide a real improvement to your quality of life, without significantly increasing the risks you face.
“Our extended household groups will allow a grandparent who lives on their own to form a group with another household in their family, a single parent and their children to join with another household for support, and it will allow a non-cohabiting couple, where at least one of them lives alone, to be reunited. It will, I hope, help to ease some of the isolation which is one of the cruellest consequences of tackling this virus.
“I appreciate today’s announcement will be hard for the hospitality industry but I want to give an assurance that we will continue to support preparations for re-opening.
“Ultimately, this is a social bargain. The prize for going a bit more carefully now is a recovery that is much more sustainable and will, I hope, allow more normality to be restored to our everyday lives while suppressing the virus.”
Route map Phase 2 changes
From Friday 19 June:
• Those advised to shield will be able to take part in non-contact activities such as golf, angling, kayaking, and meet members of another household outdoors, up to a suggested maximum of eight in the group. Most importantly in both instances, strict physical distancing of two meters must be followed at all times, and they should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds when they return home
• A household not shielding can meet two other households, outside, up to a suggested maximum of eight people in the group
• Those visiting another household in a private garden will be permitted to use the household toilet, with increased hygiene measures urged. This does not include a household of someone who is shielding
• Single person households, including single parents households with children under the age of 18, will be able to form an extended household with another
• People should continue to stay in their local area as much as possible and should not travel more than around five miles for leisure or recreation
From Monday 22 June
• Construction sector to implement remaining stages of their own phased return
• Dental practices open to see patients with urgent care needs
• Resumption of professional sport, following public health advice
• Places of worship open for individual prayer and contemplation
• Limited College and University staff return for essential preparations for re-opening in Phase 3
• Mandatory face coverings on public transport (please see Transport Scotland for more detail)
• Accommodation can be provided for workers whose workplaces are open in the relevant phase and who need to stay away from home for work
From Monday 29 June
• Indoor non-office workplaces (including factories, warehouses and labs) can resume once relevant guidance is implemented. This does not include non-essential office, call-centre, culture, leisure and hospitality premises
• Restrictions of house moves relaxed
• Public gardens and zoos can open but should remain limited to local access only in this phase
• Outdoor sports courts reopen
• Playgrounds can reopen
• Registration offices can open for priority tasks
• Marriages and civil partnerships allowed with minimal attendees outside
• Street-access retail can re-open once guidance is implemented. Interiors of shopping malls/centres remain closed for non-essential shops until Phase 3
• Reintroduction of some chronic disease management
• Phased resumption of some screening services
• Phased safe resumption of essential optometry and ophthalmology services
• Outdoor markets can reopen once guidance is implemented
Scaling up throughout Phase 2
• Public transport will increase services. Capacity will remain constrained due to physical distancing requirements – and active travel remains the preferred mode of travel.
• Increase in health care provisions for pent up demand, urgent referrals and triage of routine services
• Planning with COSLA and partners to support and, if needed, review social care and care home services
• Priority referrals to secondary care
• Public services will continue to resume and scale up, including services such as visiting support to Housing First Tenants and the resumption of area-based energy efficiency schemes
Phase 2 route map
Further guidance will be published before the current shielding period is due to end on 31 July.
Face coverings can include masks, reusable cloth coverings and a whole range of other options including scarves and bandanas – as long as the wearer’s nose and mouth are covered. For more information see Transport Scotland release