Scotland’s stay at home rule to be liftedon April 2, 2021 at 5:08 am

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People in Scotland are now being told to remain within their local authority for the next three weeks.

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The stay at home rule which has been in place in Scotland for more than three months has been lifted.

People have been told to “stay local” and to remain within their local authority boundaries for the next three weeks.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the vaccination programme’s progress had been “better than we could have dared hope for back at the turn of the year”.

However, she also warned that there were “no grounds for complacency”.

She said: “It is really important right now that while the vaccination programme continues to be rolled out, all of us remain hyper-vigilant in how we’re going about our daily lives.”

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Police Scotland’s Dep Ch Con Malcolm Graham issued a warning ahead of the Easter weekend, urging people to stay local unless for essential purposes.

He said: “While Easter weekend is traditionally a time for visiting friends and family, I would urge people to stay local and follow the regulations on gatherings.

“If you are visiting beauty spots within your local area, do so safely and respectfully – leaving no trace of your visit. Please also park responsibly to allow emergency access.”

Police in Edinburgh also said increased patrols would continue following a spate of anti-social behaviour incidents on or near public transport.

The easing of the level four restrictions in Scotland will have a minimum gap of three weeks between phases, and will be assessed using conditions set out by the World Health Organization.

In February, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a four-step plan which could see all legal limits on social contact lifted by 21 June in England.

Each stage in his routemap will be a minimum of five weeks apart, with conditions which must be met before proceeding to the next step.

The stay at home rule in England was eased on 29 March, although the government advice was to “minimise travel”.

Earlier this week, Ms Sturgeon said the average number of Covid cases had fallen by three quarters since early January, and the number of deaths was down by more than 80% in the last two months.

Further easing of restrictions in Scotland from Monday will enable barbers, hairdressers, car showrooms, homeware shops and garden centres to reopen.

Shops will be allowed to resume click and collect services.

In addition, outdoor contact sports for 12 to 17-year-olds can start again and college students will be able to return to in-person teaching for practical subjects.

It is expected that all school pupils will return full-time after the Easter holidays. Those in secondary schools are currently operating under a blended learning system.

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On Thursday, there were 400 new cases of coronavirus reported within a 24-hour period, with 215 people in hospital.

Eight deaths of people who tested positive were also recorded.

Figures also showed 2,493,327 people had received the first dose of the vaccine and 399,062 had received their second dose.

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