We published the Coronavirus (COVID-19): Framework for Decision Making: Scotland's Route Map through and out of the crisis on 21 May 2020. It indicates the order in which we will carefully and gradually lift lockdown restrictions, and sets out the criteria to be met for progressing through the route map phases. These criteria include required statistical measures of progress in suppressing the virus and broader requirements based on the World Health Organization's (WHO) conditions for easing restrictions.
The Route Map table summarises the changes we plan to make in each phase. It does not include everything that we know will be of importance to people. Specific questions and concerns will often be covered in the supporting guidance.
The COVID-19 crisis is uncertain and complex and our understanding of it is evolving. When we published the Route Map we said that it will be updated as the evidence and information changes. Our approach, and the Route Map, would be dynamic and responsive. The announcement that Scotland was moving to Phase 1 of the Route Map was made on 28 May.
A staged approach to Phase 2
The current status of the epidemic in Scotland means that the changes in Phase 2 will be introduced in stages, rather than all at once. An updated Route Map table setting out the changes that will take place is set out below. All phase changes apply to all parts of Scotland.
An update for people who are shielding
We are still advising the shielding group to take additional steps to minimise their chance of catching COVID-19 until at least 31 July. The First Minister announced on 8 June potential changes to shielding advice to allow outdoor exercise from 18 June. We advised that you would be able to go outdoors for a walk, wheel, run or cycle.
We are now expanding our advice so that, as of Friday 19 June, you can also take part in non-contact outdoor activities such as golf and hiking. When doing so, you should:
- maintain strict physical distancing of at least 2 metres (3 steps) at all times, even if you live with the person you're out with
- choose times and areas that are quiet, if possible
- wash your hands for at least 20 seconds as soon as you get back home
As we promised when we made that announcement, we have continued to keep the guidance for the shielding group under review. We now consider that the chance of catching the virus outdoors is low enough for individuals in the shielding group to meet with one other household in a group of up to 8 people outside from 19 June. Those shielding should still only work from home and should avoid shops, pharmacies and other situations where it would be difficult to stay 2 metres apart from other people.
We understand that shielding has been difficult, especially whilst restrictions are being eased for everyone else. This is why we will be trying, as far as it is safe to do so and based on clinical and scientific advice, to move away from a blanket approach for the shielding group. We will provide the public with the information they need to make informed decisions about the risk the virus poses to them, based on individual conditions and the changing infection rate in their area.
Stay Safe, Protect Others, Save Lives
It needs to be emphasised that continued progress through the Route Map phases depends on all of us complying with the rules set out in each phase.
It is crucial not only to stay safe as individuals but to also protect others, to save lives.
The fact is there still remains a group of people at an increased risk from COVID-19 (including those over 70, those who receive the flu jab, and disabled people). Those people should be particularly careful in following physical distancing measures along with handwashing and cough hygiene.
Others should be equally mindful and respectful of their situation.
We have published advice for people with specific health conditions but who are not shielding to help them manage their condition during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to raise awareness of the continued risk from the virus and motivate and support people to comply with the new guidance.
It is only through continued compliance that we will achieve the progress required to meet the criteria for the next phase of easing restrictions. Weaker compliance may require us to delay the next phase or tighten restrictions.
Measuring the impact of changes
We will publish an Equalities Impact Assessment (EQIA) covering the Route Map and incorporating Fairer Scotland considerations in the week beginning 22 June. We will publish other relevant impact assessments in due course. We will also publish an evidence paper demonstrating that we have met the criteria for moving to Phase 2.