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Nicola Sturgeon says Scotland’s pubs and restaurants OK to reopen for food INDOORS from April 26

Nicola Sturgeon today gave Scotland’s pubs and restaurants the green light to open their doors to serve punters indoors at the end of April – three weeks before they are allowed to in England. 

The First Minister told MSPs she hoped to allow all non-essential retail to return, with hospitality premises allowed to serve alcohol outdoors and food only indoors, from April 26.

Under Boris Johnson‘s roadmap in England, pubs can reopen to serve booze outside from April 12, but have to wait until May 17 to reopen indoors, leading to cacophonous protests from the industry.

Ms Sturgeon told Holyrood that Scotland’s stay-at-home order will be removed on April 2, with Scots will be advised instead to ‘stay local’ for an initial period, which the First Minister said she hoped would be for less than three weeks. 

Ms Sturgeon warned against complacency as she announced the easing of restrictions in the coming weeks in Scotland.

She said: ‘This is certainly the most hopeful I have felt about the situation for a long time. However, as you would expect, I do need to add a note of caution. 

The First Minister told MSPs she hoped to allow all non-essential retail to return, with hospitality premises allowed to serve alcohol outdoors and food only indoors, from April 26.

‘I know this is the bit none of us want to hear, but the route back to normality does depend on continued suppression.’ 

Addressing changes to hospitality from April 26, she added: ‘Cafes, restaurants and bars will be able to serve people outdoors – in groups of up to six from three households – until 10pm.

‘Alcohol will be permitted, and there will be no requirement for food to be served.’

Indoor services will be limited initially to food and non-alcoholic drinks until 8pm. 

From April 5, hairdressers – which have already reopened in Wales, will also be allowed to start cutting. They will not reopen in England until April 12.

Click-and-collect retail services, along with garden centres, car dealerships and homeware stores will also reopen on that date.

Under Boris Johnson 's roadmap in England, pubs can reopen to serve booze outside from April 12, but have to wait until May 17 to reopen indoors, leading to cacophonous protests from the industry.

Under Boris Johnson ‘s roadmap in England, pubs can reopen to serve booze outside from April 12, but have to wait until May 17 to reopen indoors, leading to cacophonous protests from the industry.

More students, particularly those in college, will also be able to go back to in-person teaching, Ms Sturgeon said, with colleges prioritising those at risk of not completing courses for return first.

From May 17, Ms Sturgeon said she expect that ‘people will be able to meet up inside each other’s homes again – initially in groups of up to four people from no more than two households’. 

Scotland will move out of lockdown and into a ‘modified Level 3’ on April 26.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs that the vaccination programme will have reached those most at risk of dying from Covd-19, which ‘will give us confidence to ease restrictions much more significantly from April 26’.

On the same date, travel restrictions across the country will be dropped.

The First Minister said: ‘We hope that restrictions on journeys between Scotland and other parts of the UK and the wider common travel area can also be lifted, if not on April 26, then as soon as possible thereafter.’

The Scottish Government plans to move Scotland into Level 1 in early June, before shifting to Level 0 by the end of the month.

The First Minister said she hoped that vaccination and Test and Protect would lead Scotland closer to normality, but added she could not say when restrictions would be fully lifted.

‘For me to set a precise date for all of that right now would involve plucking it out of thin air – and I’d be doing it to make my life easier, not yours,’ she said.

‘I am not going to do that. But I do believe that over the coming weeks – as more and more adults are vaccinated – it will be possible to set a firmer date by which many of these normal things will be possible.

‘I am optimistic that this date will be over the summer.

‘I know I will not be the only one now looking forward – with a real sense of hope – to hugging my family this summer.’


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