// Scotland’s lockdown on non-essential retail to be eased on Monday as planned
// This means non-essential shops and other high street businesses such as gyms and hairdressers can reopen
// Hospitality venues can also reopen, but with restrictions
Non-essential shops will be able to reopen in Scotland on Monday as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed lockdown easing will go ahead as planned.
Sturgeon said the continued suppression of Covid-19 and the success of the vaccine rollout meant some restrictions could be lifted.
She told a Covid-19 briefing that on Monday the country will move from Level 4 to Level 3 of the Scottish Government’s five tiers of restrictions.
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Alongside the reopening of non-essential retailers, other high street businesses that will be able to reopen under Level 3 restrictions include gyms, cafes, restaurants, beer gardens and close contact services, such as nail salons and hairdressers.
Swimming pools, libraries and museums will also be allowed to reopen.
Hospitality venues will need to close at 8pm indoors, with alcohol only allowed to be served outside, and people will be able to meet others for a meal or drink, with up to six people from two households allowed to socialise in a public place.
Updated guidance is being published on collecting customer contact details, requiring venues to take down contact details for all customers, not just the lead member of each group.
Sturgeon said this “additional precaution” was needed to help with contact tracing in the event of a Covid outbreak.
Travel between Scotland, England and Wales will also be permitted and tourist accommodation can welcome back visitors.
Sturgeon said it was expected that all of Scotland would move to Level 2 on May 17 – allowing people to meet in “small numbers” in homes for the first time in many months.
She added that “if circumstances permit” the intention is for Scotland to move to Level 1 restrictions from June 7, before moving to Level 0 in “late June”.
The First Minister said that by the “deeper part of the summer” she hoped “something much more like normality” would be possible.
“We are hopeful, very hopeful, of seeing sustained progress,” she said.
The update from Scotland comes over a week after England and Wales relaxed lockdown restrictions on non-essential retail.
Northern Ireland confirmed last week that much of the high street would be able to reopen from April 30, although close contact services can reopen from Friday this week.
with PA Wires