Foreign trips and bar rules to be eased in Scotland
A list of countries for travel will be announced
Nicola Sturgeon has announced a relaxation of the Covid restrictions from Monday, earlier than had been expected.
The First Minister will introduce a similar traffic light system and a list of permitted countries to visit.
It signals the restart of much of the tourism sector which will come as a relief to thousands of businesses.
The changes will also allow pubs and restaurants to sell alcohol indoors and they will be allowed to stay open until 10.30pm, but distancing rules stay in place.
Event organisers will be able to apply to host more than a hundred people.
Ms Sturgeon also announced that the requirement for social distancing during meetings indoors or in private gardens would be dropped.
Up to six adults from three households will be able to meet indoors in a public place.
Restrictions on meeting up outdoors will ease further, to enable up to eight adults from eight different households to gather.
Pubs will be allowed to reopen (pic: Terry Murden)
Adult outdoor contact sports and indoor group exercises will be able to resume.
Cinemas, bingo halls and amusement arcades are also likely to be able to reopen.
A “more fundamental review” of physical distancing will be carried out in the next three weeks, which will look at whether there can be further relaxations.
However, there continued to be some concern over the changes. Colin Wilkinson, managing director of the SLTA (Scottish Licensed Trade Association) called for a quick resolution to the uncertainty around physical distancing. Ms Sturgeon said that it would no longer be necessary in homes but remain in force in other settings, including pubs and restaurants.
“We need clarity on this as soon as possible as hospitality businesses operating small premises are simply not viable with physical distancing in place,” said Mr Wilkinson.