POLITICS
24/06/2020 13:03 BST | Updated 24/06/2020 13:27 BST

Beer Gardens And Non-Essential Shops In Scotland To Reopen In July

First minister Nicola Sturgeon maps route out of coronavirus lockdown.

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Outdoor hospitality such as beer gardens and non-essential shops are to open in Scotland, as Nicola Sturgeon mapped a route out of the coronavirus lockdown. 

The first minister confirmed in Holyrood on Wednesday that outdoor hospitality can open from July 6 and indoor non-essential shops could open from July 15. 

Households will also be able to meet indoors with people from up to two other households from July 15, the Scottish Government said. 

Sturgeon also said some travel distance restrictions – which see people forced to stay within five miles of their home for recreation – will be relaxed on July 3, along with the opening of self-catering accommodation.

Setting out the new Covid-19 route-map to MSPs in the Scottish Parliament, she said the pace of easing lockdown in Scotland, was “slower than England’s – but it is, in my view, right for our circumstances and, I hope, more likely to be sustainable than if we went faster”.

She added that, despite the positive trends in the virus in recent weeks, it is still expected to “pose a real and significant threat for some time to come”.

PA
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon delivering a statement on Covid-19 at the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh.

The FM also warned that if the Covid-19 virus begins to take hold again, then the move out of lockdown “will be halted”.

“We must keep working to drive it down further, towards the point of elimination – because that then gives us the best chance of keeping it under control through testing, surveillance, contact tracing and the application of targeted suppression measures when necessary,” she said. 

“The prize if we succeed is getting greater normality back in our lives, maybe more quickly than we would have envisaged a few weeks ago, and without reversals back into blanket lockdown.”

The FM also urged Scottish people to continue to follow government advice to ensure that Covid-19 continues to be suppressed.

She said: “The choices we have made to date as individuals, and collectively as a society, have brought us this far – albeit with a lot of sorrow along the way.

“But arguably, the choices we make in the coming weeks will be even more important – as we learn to work, socialise and live alongside each other again, but in a way that keeps the virus under control.

“For us to meet each other indoors again, for more businesses to reopen, for children to return to school on a full time basis in August – all of that depends on all of us acting for the common good.”