First Minister Releases Scotland’s Route Map Out of Lockdown

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First Minister Releases Scotland’s Route Map Out of Lockdown

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has unveiled details of a four-phase “route map” towards easing the country’s lockdown restrictions.


The route map provides information about how Scottish Government plans to ease the lockdown restrictions, while continuing to suppress the virus.


The document also provides some indication of what our journey to a new normal might look like, however it does not set definite dates for return to normal life due to the unpredictability of the virus.


Nicola Sturgeon stated:


“Our emergence from lockdown will be faster or slower, depending on the continued success that we have in suppressing the virus.”


The First Minister also stressed the responsibility of the public to follow the current Government guidance and maintain the restrictions in place, together with hand washing and physical distancing, as well as wearing a face covering where appropriate.


The route map will be added to in the days ahead with detailed advice and information for the public, as well as guidance covering key sectors of our economy, travel and transport.


The First Minister also noted that the route map will detail the easing of lockdown measures in a phased approach with the implementation of the planned phases being decided upon in the coming weeks depending on scientific evidence.


From the initial outline given in the route map document, it is stated that when Phase 1 is implemented, it will allow for the following:


  • More outdoor activity will be permitted (e.g. sitting in a park)

  • Waste and recycling services to resume

  • Garden centres and plant nurseries can reopen with physical distancing.

  • Gradual re-opening of drive through food outlets.

  • Non-contact, outdoor activities in your local area can resume (e.g. golf, hiking, canoeing, fishing)

  • The construction industry will be able to carefully implement steps 1 and 2 of its 6-step restart plan with genuine partnership with trade unions

  • School staff return to schools to prepare classrooms



During this phase, remote working remains the default position for those who can and for those workplaces that are reopening, employers should encourage staggered start times and flexible working.


The guidance for workplaces in phase 1 where home working is to manage travel demand through staggered start times and flexible working patterns.


Workplaces resuming in later phases can also begin to undertake preparatory work on physical distancing and hygiene measures during phase 1.


Changes in the next Phase 2 include:


  • Non-essential indoor non-office-based workplaces resuming once relevant guidance agreed (including factories & warehouses, lab & research facilities.)

  • Construction sector to implement remaining stages of phased return.

  • Relaxation of restrictions on housing moves.

  • Previously closed small retail units can reopen with physical distancing.

  • Outdoor markets can reopen with restrictions in place.

  • Pubs and restaurants can open outdoor spaces with physical distancing and increased hygiene routines.


Some of the biggest changes announce will be seen in Phase 3 when the following restrictions will be lifted (all subject to physical distancing and increased hygiene routines being undertaken :


  • Non-essential indoor office workplaces can open (once relevant guidance agreed) including contact centres.

  • Larger retail can reopen.

  • Pubs and restaurants can open in indoor spaces.

  • Personal retail services including hairdressers open

  • Museums, galleries, libraries, cinemas can open

  • Gyms to re-open

  • Relaxation of restrictions on accommodation providers.

  • Live events permitted with restricted numbers


Ms Sturgeon also announced that schools will reopen under Phase 3 on from 11 August – but this will be a blended model of part time in-school and part time at-home learning.


The final phase 4 will be brought in once the virus remains suppressed to very low levels and is no longer considered a significant threat to public. This will lift almost all of the the restrictions in place with all businesses able to open with improved public health advice.


Responding to the publication of the Scottish Government’s roadmap for Scotland through and out of the Covid-19 crisis, Dr Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce said:


“This route map on the staged exit of lockdown is a welcome and helpful start. Businesses have been clear they need practical guidance on when they can return to the workplace and what measures they need to put in place to ensure the safety of their staff and customers.

“Focus until now has correctly been on protecting lives but we need to start balancing this with safeguarding jobs and the economy. This can be achieved with business and Government working together and we are pleased to see the Scottish Government emphasising a partnership approach in today’s document. This recognises it is our joint responsibilities to take the necessary steps to keep the virus under control while re-starting our economy together.

“The Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network, will work proactively with the Scottish Government to help deliver ways of working that will ensure the health of people in Scotland is maintained and our economy is protected.”



For the full guidance, download Scotland’s Route Map Out of Lockdown here.

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