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Exercise more than once a day allowed in first easing of Covid-19 coronavirus lockdown in Scotland

By Scott Maclennan

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said people will be allowed to leave their homes for exercise more than once a day for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown began.

However, she said that this was not a licence for people from different households to start meeting up.

The lockdown in Scotland remains in place, she said, and the Scottish Government would continue to be “very careful and very cautious about where we proceed to from here”.

After agreeing the move to allow exercise more than once a day with the cabinet and taking part in a Cobra meeting with the Prime Minister and leaders of the other devolved assemblies, Ms Sturgeon hinted small changes to lockdown are also anticipated in England.

Boris Johnson is due to deliver a statement later today, outlining his road map out of lockdown south of the border.

For Scotland the First Minister said that, from tomorrow, people will be allowed to leave their homes for exercise more than once a day. This covers activities such as walking, running and cycling but does not extend to going out to sunbathe or for picnics or barbecues.

This does not apply, however, if you or someone in your house has symptoms of Covid-19 or if you are in the shielded group. In those cases, the rule remains to stay at home.

All other lockdown restrictions remain in place including remaining close to home for exercise and continuing to observe the two-metre social distancing rule.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Having made real progress in recent weeks – and I think you can tell from the figures that I am setting out for you day after day, that we have made real progress – the objective now for all of us must be to consolidate and solidify that progress.

“We must not squander that progress by easing up too soon or by sending mixed messages that result in people thinking that it's OK to ease up now.

“Let me be very blunt about the consequences if we were to do that – people will die unnecessarily and instead of being able to loosen restrictions, hopefully in the near future, we will be faced instead with having to tighten them.

"We must not take that risk.

“So for that reason my basic message for Scotland remains the same as it has been – please stay at home except for essential purposes."

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