Scotland will remain in phase three of its route out of lockdown until at least next month – if not longer – but gyms and swimming pools are among the venues given the welcome news they can soon reopen.
The First Minister said while prevalence of the virus remains at “low levels” across Scotland as a whole, new coronavirus cases are higher than the last review period.
A total of 52 new cases a day were recorded on average in the last week, compared to a daily average of 16, three weeks ago.
In a statement to the Scottish Parliament, Nicola Sturgeon said that in order for the country to move to phase four, the government would have to be satisfied that the virus is “no longer considered a significant threat to public health”.
With the total of new coronavirus cases recorded in Scotland reaching its highest number in almost three months at 77 cases, the First Minister said this is “definitely not the case”.
What will resume from Monday (August 24)?
- Certain outdoor live events (involving open space or organised seating) with physical distancing and restricted numbers). Work will be undertaken with the sector on options for larger pilot events.
- Driving lessons can resume.
- Organised outdoor contact sports (all ages) but capped to 30 people.
- Bingo halls with physical distancing in place.
- Snooker/pool halls and indoor bowling, with enhanced hygiene measures.
- Face-to-face advice services, e.g. Citizens Advice
- Funfairs – both static and travelling.
- Child contact centres.
From Monday, August 31
- Gyms (indoor) and swimming pools.
- Indoor sports courts – including skating and dance studios. Children under 12 can take part in all sports but the measures are limited to non-contact sport only for adults and children over 12.
- Indoor activities for children and young people, following guidance that will vary by activity. Indoor youth work can resume for young people in line with guidance.
What indicative dates have been given?
At this stage the following dates are indicative and remain subject to change:
- Certain indoor live events such as standing concerts – with physical distancing, enhanced hygiene and restricted numbers. Work will be undertaken with the sector on options for pilot events.
- Wedding, civil partnerships and funerals will be able to take place with more people in attendance.
- Theatres and live music venues, with physical distancing in place. Nightclubs not permitted to reopen.
- Limited reopening of sports stadia with limited numbers of spectators and physical distancing in place. The Scottish Government has left the option for testing on earlier dates subject to agreement with government.
- Soft play facilities to reopen. Guidance will be in place, including no ball pools and enhanced hygiene.
- Outdoor focused standing live events – with physical distancing, enhanced hygiene and restricted numbers.
- Indoor sports courts – including skating and dance studios – can be used by adults and young people aged 12 and above for contact sports.
What measures are awaiting further review?
The following have not yet been set a date and should await further review:
- The First Minister was unable to give a date for the reopening of non-essential offices and call centres, stating it was “too great a risk at this time”. Home working will remain the “default position” for now. Ms Sturgeon said this would be looked at again at the next review point, which is on September 10.
- Remaining indoor live events: with physical distancing, enhanced hygiene and restricted numbers.
The First Minister has said Scotland will remain, for now, in phase three but also indicated that this may remain the case beyond the next review point, on September 10.