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Scotland’s route out of lockdown: First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to deliver update, but where and when?

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will update the nation today on whether or not the relaxation of further restrictions in Scotland can take place.

It is anticipated that Ms Sturgeon will confirm proposed changes from April 26 can indeed go ahead on their scheduled date.

The changes include the reopening of retail deemed to be non-essential, as well as gyms and indoor sporting facilities – including swimming pools – for individual exercise.

But perhaps more noted and celebrated by some, beer gardens can return alongside visits to restaurants and cafes.

Where can I watch?

The address will be streamed live through Scottish Government social media accounts, as well as being broadcast live on the BBC.

When?

The update is scheduled for 12pm.

What will change?

Hospitality venues are eagerly awaiting Ms Sturgeon’s announcement so they can begin to order stock and make plans for reopening next Monday.

‘The doors will be open at 11am on April 26’: Publicans and hoteliers speak out on lifting of restrictions on Scottish hospitality

The whole of Scotland – including the islands – is expected to move to Level 3 as a unified approach is taken to protect communities. 

Indoor hospitality will resume – however, no alcohol is permitted at this stage with a curfew of 8pm.

Instead, alcohol can only be served in outdoor settings until 10pm.

In line with the change brought in last Friday, groups of up to six people from six households will be able to meet, meaning you and more of your friends can enjoy a drink together for the first time in months.

The number of people allowed to attend weddings and funerals will also increase, with a maximum of 50 allowed at wakes and receptions, with alcohol permitted at these events.

Hotels will also be allowed to reopen, as will libraries, museums and galleries.

How can I keep up to date?

The Press and Journal and Evening Express joint blog will bring you all the very latest updates.

When can we expect further relaxation?

The next set of changes are expected to be implemented on May 17.

It is expected that Scotland will move down to Level 2 at this stage, with indoor gatherings permitted, allowing loved ones to meet up again inside homes.

Hospitality venues will be permitted to remain open until 10.30pm indoors with alcohol permitted at this stage, with a 10pm closing time for beer gardens.

Contact sport for adults can also resume at this point, and indoor group exercise will restart.

Cinemas, arcades and bingo halls can also reopen, with small scale outdoor and indoor events allowed to resume, subject to rules relating to capacity.

Ms Sturgeon will update the nation prior to that date to confirm whether the May 17 is possible, with a timeframe for the next announcement anticipated at today’s update.

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