Physical distancing and staying at home still key to tackling COVID-19
Changes to Scotland’s lockdown restrictions have been confirmed today by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
While some outdoor activity restrictions will ease as of Friday, the public are still urged to stay at home as much as possible and maintain strict physical distancing when outdoors.
From tomorrow, two households will be allowed to meet in outdoor spaces up to a suggested maximum of eight people. However, it is important that physical distancing and hygiene rules are maintained.
Announcing the measures, the First Minister said:
“The only reason the Scottish Government can make these changes today is because of the sacrifices that all of you have made. So thank you, to each and every one of you.
“No change will be risk free - and there are no certainties. While I am confident of that, there is also the chance that even these limited changes will lead to much greater change in reality.
“So please act within the rules. Be respectful of each other’s space, be kind, be prepared for things to be very different and remember that each individual decision you take affects the wellbeing of all of us. How well we follow these practices now determines whether we can go further in the future. We can only take these steps towards a less restricted lifestyle, and then consider taking further steps, if people continue to obey the guidance.
“My advice is to stay home as much as possible – the virus has not gone away. If you have symptoms, get tested; wash your hands and surfaces regularly; and if you do meet family or a friend stay outdoors. Don’t put them or yourself at risk.
“People who are shielding will be well into their third month of isolation, of not being able to leave the house at all. They are uppermost in our thoughts as we think about how to safely come out of lockdown and we’ll provide more information for them in the coming weeks.
“We can only take these steps towards a less restricted lifestyle because people have, overwhelmingly, stuck to the guidance. And we will be able to take more steps more quickly in the future – if we continue to do the right thing, and to stick to the rules.”
Measures that will come into force in Phase 1 include:
- From tomorrow (29 May), one household can now meet up with another outdoors. This can be in one household’s garden, but physical distancing is still required. It is expected households will only meet one other household within the same day and up to a recommended maximum of eight people in the overall group.
- From tomorrow (29 May), public outdoor spaces can now be used for recreational purposes, for example to sit in a park, sunbathe or have a picnic. People should not share food and drink between households and should avoid using shared facilities, such as bathrooms. If eating, each household should bring their own food separately and avoid sharing utensils, dishes or cups and use a hand sanitiser before eating. Physical distancing between households should be maintained at all times.
- From tomorrow (29 May), you can now travel short distances for outdoor leisure and exercise but should remain in your local area, suggested to be five miles from your house, although we ask people to use their judgement. People are encouraged to walk, wheel or cycle where possible.
- From Monday (1 June), staff can return to schools subject to risk assessments and appropriate physical distancing and hygiene measures being in place to support this. This is to plan and prepare for the new blended model of learning to be implemented from 11 August.
- From Wednesday (3 June), child minding services and fully outdoor nursery provision will be available, although capacity will be limited. Both measures will be subject to increased hygiene measures, small group working and physical distancing of adults.
- From tomorrow (29 May), most outdoor workplaces to resume with physical distancing measures in place once guidance is agreed, including horticulture, landscaping and garden centres, forestry and environmental management. Associated cafes should not reopen at this stage except for take-away and physical distancing measures should be followed.
- From tomorrow (29 May), the construction sector is expected to be able to implement the first phase in its restart plan. A move to ‘phase 2’ of the construction sector’s plan will follow consultation with government to ensure it is safe to do so in line with public health advice.
- From tomorrow (29 May), food outlets, restaurants and cafes are able to provide delivery, take-away and drive-through food options in line with guidance and complying and safe physical distancing measures.
- From tomorrow (29 May), unrestricted outdoor exercise and some non-contact outdoor activities within the local area – such as golf, outdoor tennis and angling – can resume provided physical distancing is followed. It does not mean that taking part will always be safe. You should use judgement and take part only if you can do so safely, maintaining physical distancing and not putting yourself or others at risk.
- From Monday (1 June) Household Waste Recycling Centres to begin to reopen. Sites must operate safely, ensuring physical distancing is maintained, and should only be visited when absolutely necessary to minimise journeys.
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