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Scotland unveils plans for lifting of lockdown restrictions

Scotland is the last part of the United Kingdom to reveal its plans for a return to normalcy

  • May 22, 2020 19:30
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
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Source: COVID-19 press conference - 11 May 2020 by Scottish Government on Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Yesterday, 21 May 2020, the Scottish Government, represented by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon unveiled its plans for the lifting of lockdown restrictions within its territory. Scotland is the last part of the United Kingdom to present a timetable and a concrete plan of action when it comes to returning to normalcy over the coming months.

Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister, meanwhile, announced the country’s government’s plans for the lifting of restrictions earlier in May, as TheMayor.EU reported. His approach is far less ambitious than that of other European states as the United Kingdom has had a far worse handling of the coronavirus emergency over the past couple of months. 

Scottish approach

In her announcement, Nicola Sturgeon stated that Scotland will embark on a cautious return to normalcy in the easing of lockdown restrictions – for the most part mirroring the approach of other parts of the UK, where significant progress in their removal has already been achieved.

The first measures will come into force next week and will concern the allowance of practising outdoor sports like tennis and golf. Outdoor restaurants and cafes will also be allowed to reopen in the near future, as part of the Scottish government’s four-step plan.

Schools, meanwhile, are set to officially reopen on 11 August. Sturgeon added that Scotland will introduce a so-called “blended model”, incorporating both in-person attendance and distance learning. Teachers will be allowed to head back to school as early as July, in order to prepare the classrooms and to make everything suitable for the arriving children.

There is, however, no hope for the reopening of indoor venues for the foreseeable future. The first minister stated that it would be at least three weeks before pubs and indoor restaurants will be allowed to open their doors to customers, due to the threat of further spreading the disease that has already ravaged the country.

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