Coronavirus travel restrictions in Scotland are to be eased from Friday and more people will be able to meet up outdoors, Nicola Sturgeon has said. The First Minister said a reduction in prevalence of the virus meant some acceleration of planned lockdown easing was possible to support mental health and wellbeing. She told a coronavirus briefing there had been three deaths from coronavirus and 221 positive tests in the past 24 hours.
NICOLA STURGEON: We are now extremely confident that those parts of the country currently in level 4 will move to level 3 on the 26th of April. That's now less than two weeks away. That means, amongst other things, that on that date, shops will fully reopen.
Pubs, cafes, and restaurants will also be able to fully open outdoors on the 26th of April. And indeed, they'll be able to open indoors on that day, albeit on a restricted basis. And it's worth noting, I think, that the restricted indoor opening of hospitality on the 26th will be actually three weeks ahead of any indoor opening of hospitality in England.
So, we've considered whether we can bring forward any changes that will particularly boost mental health and well being. So, we focused really on trying, as fast as possible, to give families more opportunity to get together earlier than was planned. So, in particular, we've looked at travel within Scotland to see friends and family, albeit outdoors. At the moment, we can't leave out all local authority areas except for an essential purpose. And that was due to remain in place until the 26th of April, but the data allows us to make a change to this earlier than that.
So, from Friday, that's Freddy this week, the 16th of April, we will all be able to travel anywhere within Scotland for the purposes of outdoor socializing, recreation, or informal exercise. And we are also able to relax the rules for meeting people outdoors, again, from Friday this week. At the moment, a maximum of four adults from two households are permitted to meet outdoors. From Friday onwards, that will change to six adults, from up to six households. So, that's quite a significant relaxation of that outdoor meeting limit.