In her daily press briefing, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that the planned easing of restrictions from 26 April will go ahead. Scotland will enter level 3 on Monday with the plan to go to level 2 on 17th May if cases continue to fall before entering level 1 on 7 June and level 0 later that month.

From Monday, all shops can reopen and indoor attractions and public buildings, such as galleries, museums and libraries. Hospitality venues can open until 8pm indoors (without alcohol) and 10pm outdoors where alcohol can be consumed (subject to local licensing). Six people can meet indoors – but only from two households, and funerals, weddings and wakes can increase from 20 to 50 people.

On accommodation, Ms Sturgeon said; “In addition, tourist accommodation can reopen. However in self-catering accommodation, the rules on indoor meetings still apply. This means that, until 17 May, two households cannot stay in the same accommodation.”

The First Minister confirmed that the remaining travel restrictions will be lifted between Scotland, England and Wales and restrictions have also been removed on travel to and from Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. So from Monday, you can travel anywhere across Britain for any purpose.

Ms Sturgeon also announced that rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) tests will be made available to anyone in Scotland and to those planning travel to the islands.

From today, anyone planning travel to the islands next week can order a free home test kit online. The first test should be taken three days before travel and the second on the day of departure.

On international travel, the First Minister said; “Until 17 May – and possibly for a period after that – you should not be leaving the UK for non-essential purposes.  We want to restore normality on international travel as quickly as possible. But we must be sensible in light of the risks we face. We are continuing to work with the UK government to agree a common approach to international travel after 17 May.”

Ms Sturgeon said; “The changes that come into force next week have been hard earned by all of us. I know that many will be looking forward – quite rightly – to their first drink in a beer garden, to catching up with a friend in a café, or to going on holiday somewhere in Scotland.

“But even as we enjoy those moments, we still need to be careful. We must remember the virus is more infectious now than it was when bars and cafés were last open, so we must still stick to the rules. However, we are hopeful of seeing sustained progress in the weeks and months ahead.”

For more information on all of the changes which will come into effect from Monday, please visit the Scottish Government website here.

You can view the First Minister’s statement in full here.