Coronavirus / Households will be able to meet outdoors while distanced as part of first phase of lockdown easing

People will also be allowed to travel short distances for outdoor leisure and exercise by ‘walk, wheel and cycle where possible’

MEMBERS of a household will be able to meet up with another household outdoors in small numbers while physically distanced as part of the Scottish Government’s first phase of relaxing lockdown restrictions.

The first phase is expected to start on 28 May, with relaxing of restrictions gradually introduced. The routemap for phasing can be found online.

In the first phase people will also be permitted to travel short distances for outdoor leisure and exercise but they are advised to stay within a short distance of their local community, which is suggested to be within five miles.

Folk are asked to travel by “walk, wheel and cycle” where possible for outdoor leisure and exercise.

In relation to seeing family and friends, the government said: “We are planning in this phase to change regulations to permit people to use public outdoor spaces for recreational purposes, for example to sit in a public space.


“We are also planning for one household to meet up with another household outdoors, in small numbers, including in gardens, but with physical distancing required.”

Also allowed will be unrestricted outdoors exercise adhering to distancing measures and non-contact outdoor activities in the local area, such as golf, hiking, canoeing, outdoor swimming and angling.

As previously reported, household recycling centres – like the dump in Lerwick – are expected to reopen on 1 June.

Garden centres and plant nurseries will reopen in the first phase with physical distancing.

In the first phase the government is planning for remote working to remain the default position for those who can.

It is also planning for outdoor workplaces to resume with physical distancing measures in place once guidance is agreed.

In health and social care, the first phase should see the beginning of the “safe restart of NHS services, covering primary, and community services including mental health”.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


The government added that it is also planning on retaining COVID-free GP services and is thinking about a further scale up of digital consultations.

It will also consider the introduction of designated visitors to care homes.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed there will be four phases of easing.

“They are gradual and incremental and will be matched with careful monitoring of the virus,” she said.

“We may, at times, need to hit the brakes on easing. However, it may also be that we are able to ease restrictions faster than we initially thought that we could.”

The government clarified that every three weeks, “we will review and report on whether, and to what extent we can move from one phase to another”.

“It may be that not everything currently listed in a single phase will happen at the same time,” it added.


“It might be possible to lift some measures more quickly while some may take longer than we envisage now. A single phase may also span more than one review period.”

Schools are expected to reopen on 11 August.

In phase two people will be able to meet with larger groups including family and friends outside with physical distancing.

In that phase meeting people from another household indoors with physical distancing and hygiene measures will also be allowed.

In phase three folk will be able to meet with people from more than one household indoors with physical distancing and hygiene measures.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.