First minister to announce four-phase 'route map' for easing lockdown

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will today set out a "route map" for a four-phased lifting of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Restrictions on outdoor activities like golf and fishing look set to be lifted, garden centres and recycling centres could be allowed to reopen and people may be able to meet someone from a different household, with social distancing.

Ms Sturgeon will tell the Scottish Parliament today that the changes will come into force on May 28, assuming continued success in suppression of the coronavirus.

Progress will be assessed every three weeks, before lifting restrictions further.

Speaking ahead of the announcement, Ms Sturgeon said: "The enormous sacrifices made by people and businesses across Scotland have had a real impact on the spread of Covid-19 and I would like to thank everybody who has helped to protect themselves, each other and our health and care services.

"For the time being, the advice on staying at home except for essential purposes remains the same, but we hope to shortly be ready to start easing the lockdown restrictions and today's route map will outline how we can do that."

The first minister said she has been "guided by the latest scientific advice", which listening to the views of the people in Scotland.

The route map will be based on World Health Organisation guidance, as well as the experience of other countries who have eased lockdown.

"This will be a very gradual process as we monitor how changing behaviour affects the infection rate and we will only be able to move toward easing more restrictions if we continue to work together to suppress the virus," Ms Sturgeon said.

"Protecting lives will continue to be our number one priority - and I am confident that people across Scotland will continue to pull together in this national endeavour as we return to some kind of normality."

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