Hairdressers and barbershops have been given the go-ahead to reopen on Monday by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
At today’s daily coronavirus briefing, the first minister said progress in suppressing the virus has allowed the Scottish Government to go ahead with the indicative dates for relaxing some restrictions.
Ms Sturgeon admitted the relaxation of these restrictions is “fairly cautious as the first step out of lockdown” and urged caution when leaving homes.
From Friday the Stay at Home message will be replaced with the new Stay Local advice, with travel only permitted around peoples own local authority.
Travel to other local authorities is only permitted for essential purposes.
Ms Sturgeon said sticking to the new Stay Local advice is “a really important way of trying to make sure that we keep that downward pressure on the virus in all parts of the country”.
What changes from Monday?
Crucially for some, hairdressers and barber shops, along with other parts of the economy, will be permitted to reopen from Monday.
Ms Sturgeon did stress, however, that prior booking is required for those seeking appointments.
She said: “I know that many people are already looking forward to the first professional here cuts of the year. But again, you must make an appointment before you go.”
College students, particularly those studying construction, engineering, hairdressing and beauty, will return to on-campus learning.
Contact sports will return for those aged between 12 and 17 with click and collect services opening up at those retails stores deemed to be non-essential.
Car showrooms and forecourts will reopen, however, an appointment is likely to be required to access showrooms and for collection of ordered items via click and collect.
Homeware and garden centres will also reopen in a boost to many before the summer.
‘No grounds for complacency’
Despite relaxing some freedoms, Ms Sturgeon said there is “still no grounds for complacency”.
She added: “It is really important right now while the vaccination programme continues to be rolled out that all of us remain hyper-vigilant in how we’re going about our daily lives”.
The first minister urged people to consider if their visit is essential on the first day back or if they could perhaps wait a few days or weeks.
The next review and approval or disapproval of the next relaxation of restrictions will take place in three weeks time, with more restrictions hoped to be eased on April 26.
What will change later in April?
From April 26, the Scottish Government says the first dose of the vaccination will have been offered to all members identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) with hopes to move mainland Scotland from Level 4 to Level 3.
A new tiered system is to be published by the Scottish Government in the coming days which will shape what levels look like.
Following the Easter holidays for schools, more pupils are to return to the classroom before further relaxations are implemented for the retail and hospitality sectors.
Beer gardens are to open with indoor hospitality to offer meals, however, no alcohol will be permitted indoors initially.
The number of people who can gather in outdoor groups is to also change.
Changes may come sooner if data allows
Ms Sturgeon said caution is being taken to avoid a similar scenario occurring in Scotland as has happened in other countries across Europe where case numbers have begun to rise again.
She said: “We don’t want the same thing happening here if we can possibly avoid it.
“In our view, the virus is still too widespread and it’s still too dangerous to open up too quickly, especially before we have the whole adult population or at least the vulnerable people within the adult population vaccinated
“That said, if the data permits, we do hope to be able to make further changes later on in April.”