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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announces easing of Covid-19 coronavirus restrictions to allow hairdressers and garden centres to reopen from next week

By John Davidson

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Nicola Sturgeon.
Nicola Sturgeon.

Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed 'Stay at Home' will be replaced with a 'Stay Local' message from Friday – and that a further easing of restrictions will take place from Monday.

Speaking at Tuesday's coronavirus briefing, the First Minister said progress was being made in suppressing the virus but that there was no room for complacency.

The changes mean that hairdressers and barbers will be able to open from Monday, along with garden centres, homeware stores and non-essential click and collect services.

Ms Sturgeon said: "From then there will be a limited reopening of some retail services and click and collect by appointment.

"This includes homeware and garden centres, which I know will be appreciated by both businesses and customers, but think about if you really need to visit.

"From Monday hairdressers and barbers will open in salon and you must make an appointment.

"These changes I hope will be widely welcomed but are deliberately cautions.

"Europe is seeing a renewed pressure on health service and we do not want that happening here, it is still to dangerous to open up quickly before all the adult population is vaccinated."

She warned that although great strides had been made in the last three months with the vaccination programme, there were still hundreds of people each day contracting Covid-19 in Scotland.

"There is an average of 539 cases per day, a decline of more than three quarters from the peak earlier this year and deaths have fallen by more than 80 per cent," Ms Sturgeon said.

"The number of people in hospital is also reducing but there are no grounds for complacency, all of us must remain vigilant in our daily lives.

"Numbers of new cases are now plateauing rather than falling.

"As a result hundreds of people every day area still getting the virus and it is vital that we all bear that in mind in the weeks ahead.

"Because of the progress in suppression and vaccination, I am able to confirm today that the changes that I previously indicated on April 2 and April 5 can take effect.

"From Friday, Stay at Home will be lifted, but it is replace for the next three weeks to Stay Local.

"I understand how frustrating that is, but the requirement to stay local is there for a good reason.

"Different areas have different levels of new cases so while they remain high in some levels there are still a lot of people unvaccinated and we do not want to spread the virus, and this well help us keep pressure on the virus."

She also confirmed that all secondary schools would return to classes after the Easter holidays.

Related article: Covid-19 – What can I do, and when?

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