NFU Scotland | /easing-restrictions-in-scotland.aspx

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On 21 May, the Scottish Government published a strategy outlining the next steps to lift the Coronavirus restrictions in Scotland.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19): framework for decision making – Scotland's route may through and out of the crisis is available here:
https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-framework-decision-making-scotlands-route-map-through-out-crisis/

The document outlines 4 phases of easing of restrictions. There are no fixed dates to indicate when we will enter a new phase, it will be dependent upon a variety of factors, including the R number, which is being used to measure the rate of spread of COVID-19 throughout the population.

More details, sector specific guidance will be issued in the coming weeks.

When will restrictions be eased?

On 28 May 2020, it is anticipated that the Scottish Government will announce the move to phase one of the easing of lockdown restrictions. If this occurs, the new restrictions will come into effect on Friday 29 May 2020.

This will only occur if the Scottish Government are satisfied that there is sufficient evidence that transmission of COVID-19 is being controlled and there is a sustained decline in new infections, COVID-19 related admissions to hospital, and deaths attributed to COVID19 for at least 3 weeks.

There are no ‘start dates’ to each phase of recovery, but the Scottish Government will review the plan every three weeks as a minimum.  The initial dates for these reviews include Thursday 28 May, Thursday 18 June, Thursday 9 July and Thursday 30 July. The Government have stated they will review the plan before the three-week deadline if required.

The Scottish Government have stated that the speed that we enter new phases will be determined by evidence and if the disease risk is deemed to increase at any stage, it is possible to move back a phase to reduce this risk.

What are the phases?

Information about the phases are included in the route map, available here:  https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-framework-decision-making-scotlands-route-map-through-out-crisis/

At all phases, home and remote working is the preferred approach where possible. In summary, the changes include:

Phase One

  • On 28 May 2020, it is anticipated that the Scottish Government will announce the move to phase one of the easing of lockdown restrictions. If this occurs, the new restrictions will come into effect on Friday 29 May 2020.
  • Will only occur if the Scottish Government are satisfied there is no increased risk to the population, this includes a requirement that the R number does not increase over the next few days,
  • You will be able to meet one other household, provided you are outside and adhere to social distancing, 
  • You must remain local to meet the other household and exercise, 
  • Gradual re-opening of garden centres and plant nurseries will be permitted provided physical distancing measures are in place,
  • Household recycling centres will re-open,
  • There are no significant changes for businesses, 
  • Where possible, working from home, flexible or remote working should be used. Social distancing must be adhered to,
  • Outdoor workplaces can resume, with social distancing measures in place when guidance is agreed.


Phase Two

  • There is not date to indicate when we will be able to enter this phase, but the Scottish Government has stated the R number must be consistently below 1 and WHO Criteria met (link) before progressing to Phase Two,
  • You will be able to meet outside with larger groups including family and friends with physical distancing, you would be able to meet people from another household indoors with physical distancing and hygiene measures,
  • Pubs and restaurants will be able to open outdoor areas, provided social distancing is conducted.


Phase Three

  • There is no date to indicate when we will be able to enter this phase,
  • Pubs and restaurants will be able to open indoor areas, provided social distancing is conducted,
  • Accomodation providers, including holiday homes, B&Bs and hotels, can start to re-open,
  • People will be able to meet in extended groups, subject to physical distancing measures. This will include places of worship and attendance of beyond close family guests at occasions such as marriages.
  • You can drive outwith your local area for leisure.


Phase Four

  • Some mass gatherings can be held, in line with public health advice,
  • Further relaxation on restrictions to see family and friends according to public health measures, 
  • All types of retail and hospitality will be open in line with public helth advice, shopping local will still be encouraged,
  • Remote and flexible working will still be encouraged, but all types of businesses will be open in line with public health advice.  


When will schools return?

Subject to evidence and progress of the epidemic, pupils are set to return to school from Tuesday 11 August on a part-time basis.  

Pupils are anticipated to return under a slightly different model with a blended approach of part-time in-school and part-time in-home learning. Public health measures and physical distancing measures will be in place.


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