Scotland will move to Level 0 on July 19 as part of Scottish Government plans and all major remaining legal coronavirus restrictions will be lifted on August 9 if possible, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has told MSPs. The news comes one week after Boris Johnson announced that lockdown easing would also be delayed until the 19th July in England.
Under the Scottish Government’s plans, the country had been due to move to Level 0 from June 28.
The First Minister said: “Assuming we are meeting the revised strategic aim, we hope that all parts of Scotland, not currently in that level, can move to Level 0 on 19 July.
“That means, for example, that the limits for household gatherings indoors will increase from that date, and up to 200 people will be able to attend weddings and funerals.
“We also hope – assuming the data supports this – that the general indoor physical distancing requirement can be reduced from 2 metres to 1 metre.
“And we hope, from that date, to lift the outdoor requirement to physically distance.
“In addition – in recognition of the reduced risk of outdoor transmission and therefore the desire to encourage people to stay outdoors as much as possible – we hope that limits on informal outdoor social gatherings, in private gardens for example, will also be removed at this stage.”
Planned lifting of all major restrictions on August 9
With regards to the planned lifting of all restrictions on August 9, the First Minister said: “Our assessment – on balance and assuming we meet the necessary conditions on vaccination and harm reduction – is that it would be possible and proportionate to lift the major remaining legal restrictions on 9 August.
“We will consider and make a final assessment nearer the time of whether – as we hope – this could include the lifting of the legal requirement to physically distance indoors as well as outdoors.”
She added: “The move beyond Level 0 will be a major milestone and it will signal a return to almost complete normality in our day to day lives.
“Of course, while this is a longed-for moment, it is important to recognise that we still have a difficult path to navigate over the next few weeks to meet these milestones and, even assuming we do, the pandemic will not be completely over at this stage.
“As our Strategic Framework Update paper sets out, basic mitigations will still be required, as we move through summer and into the autumn, when we face the risk of a further resurgence in cases.”