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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”.

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.