Last reviewed 20 April 2021

Scotland can expect noticeable easing of restrictions from Monday 26 April with regard to retail, hospitality and travel, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

From that date, hospitality venues such as cafés, pubs and restaurants can reopen, along with tourist accommodation. Non-essential retail outlets and close contact services such as beauty salons can also reopen, in addition to indoor attractions and public buildings such as galleries, museums and libraries.

The First Minister confirmed that all parts of the country will move to Level 3 from 26 April.

The remaining travel restrictions within Scotland will be lifted and travel within the UK will be permitted for any purpose. If everyone continues to follow the rules, Ms Sturgeon said, it is expected that all of Scotland will move to Level 2 on Monday 17 May.

Further changes from 26 April

The First Minister confirmed the following rule relaxations:

  • adults on the shielding list can return to the workplace, if they cannot work from home, while children who have been shielding can return to school

  • non-essential work inside people’s homes — such as painting, decorating or repairing — will be permitted, subject to mitigations

  • non-essential informal childcare will resume

  • driving lessons and tests can take place, while gyms and swimming pools can reopen for individual exercise

  • the attendance limit for funerals and weddings — and related events such as receptions — will increase to 50

  • cafés, pubs and restaurants can resume full outdoor service, subject to local licensing, and serve food indoors without alcohol until 8pm

  • takeaways to resume normal service, with physical distancing and face masks in premises.

From that same date, lateral flow home test kits will be available to anyone in the wider population who does not have Covid-19 symptoms. They can be picked up from local walk/drive-through test sites for people to test themselves twice-weekly.

Ms Sturgeon said: “We are keeping island communities in Level 3 at the moment, so that we can allow travel between those communities and the rest of Scotland. If you are planning to travel to an island and do not have Covid-19 symptoms, we will encourage you to take two lateral flow tests for Covid-19 before you depart.”