Hugs return in Scotland as Nicola Sturgeon confirms further lockdown easing

·2-min read
Nicola Sturgeon (PA Wire)
Nicola Sturgeon (PA Wire)

People in Scotland will be able to hug loved ones again from Monday – subject to restrictions – an emotional Nicola Sturgeon has said as she confirmed further lockdown easing.

All of mainland Scotland, with the “highly probable exception” of Moray, will move from Level 3 to Level 2 of coronavirus restrictions on May 17, the First Minister told a Scottish Government coronavirus briefing.

Moray is expected to remain in Level 3 following a surge in cases and an increase in hospital admissions.

In the rest of the mainland, six people from three households will be able to meet indoors, the same number can meet in a hospitality venue and eight people from eight houses can meet outdoors.

It is hoped that from May 17 up to four people from no more than two households can socialise indoors in a private home.

While up to six people from three households can meet in an indoor public place - such as a bar.

Other lifted measured could include up to eight people from eight households can meet anywhere outdoors and hospitality venues possibly serving alcohol indoors until 22:30 - customers may be asked to book two-hour slots.

Scotland will also move to a traffic light system for international travel, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

“We consider that the situation now allows us to believe a careful move away from blanket restrictions on non-essential travel overseas,” the First Minister said at the briefing.

From Monday, managed isolation will still be needed for countries on the “red list” while a 10-day period of self-isolation with two PCR tests will be needed for amber list countries.

Those arriving from green list countries will be required to take a test when they arrive, but will not need to self-isolate if they do not have the virus.

While green list status should be the “exception not the rule”, 12 countries and territories will be on the list from the start of the initiative, including Iceland, the Faroe Islands, New Zealand and Australia.

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