FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon is set to announce further easing of coronavirus restrictions as the country prepares to enter “phase two” of the roadmap for recovery.
The plans for what is to happen if six key World Health Organisation criteria are met include:
Larger groups of family and friends being able to meet outside and households being able to meet inside with physical distancing.
The default plan is to still work from home, but where that’s impossible, businesses are to manage travel demand through staggered start times and flexible working. People will be able to drive locally for leisure and exercise purposes.
Public transport services will be increased, but with limited capacity to allow physical distancing. There may be geographical differences in approaches to transport.
Construction will implement the remaining stages of its phased return. There will be a relaxation of restrictions on housing moves. Non-essential, indoor, non-office-based workplaces can resume once guidance is agreed.
Small retail units will be allowed to re-open with physical distancing in place. Pubs and restaurants can open outdoor spaces with physical distancing and increased hygiene routines.
Playgrounds and sports courts will reopen with physical distancing, and a resumption of professional sport in line with public health advice.
Public services are to be scaled up.
Registration offices will open for high priority tasks. Places of worship would be able to open for private prayer with physical distancing and hygiene safeguards. Marriages, civil partnerships and other types of ceremonies will be allowed to take place with a limited number of attendees.
Health services are to increase work on the backlog of demand, urgent referrals and the triage of routine services. Some chronic disease management, which could include pain and diabetic services, could be reintroduced. There will be an expansion in GP services, optometry and ophthalmology and increased availability of dental services. There will be increased home visits to shielded patients.
The Scottish Government is also continuing to plan with partner agencies and local authorities to support and, where needed, review social care and care home services.
The government has previously said that not all phase two measures may be introduced at the same time.
NHS Shetland chief executive Michael Dickson, meanwhile, said in a weekly Facebook video on Wednesday evening that is more important than ever to stick to the guidance around social distancing and hygiene as phase two begins.
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