Tourism industry set to reopen as Nicola Sturgeon announces dates for lockdown easing

Scotland’s tourism sector is set to reopen this summer as Nicola Sturgeon announced the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Museums, galleries, holiday accommodation and other attractions will again welcome the public, in adherence to social distancing measures, during Phase Three of the government’s route map, with a date set tentatively for July 15.

The First Minister said if Covid-19 cases continue to reduce, Scotland will enter phase three of lockdown on July 9 and households will be allowed to meet people from more households outdoors with physical distancing from July 10.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

From July 3 travel distance restrictions – with people forced to stay within five miles of their home for recreation – will be relaxed and self-catering accommodation will be able to open. Self-contained accommodation such as caravans and lodges will also reopen on that date.

Beer gardens will be able to open from July 6, nonessential shops within indoor shopping centres will reopen on July 13 and barbers and hairdressers will also be able to open from July 15.

Households will be able to meet indoors with people from up to two other households, subject to physical distancing and strict hygiene measures, and museums, galleries, monuments, cinemas and libraries will also be able to reopen.

(Image: 2020 SNS Group)

Glasgow Life, who operate the city’s museums and galleries, have been contacted for comment.

A total of 2480 patients have died in Scotland after testing positive for coronavirus, up by four from 2476 on Tuesday.

The figures are lower than the 4119 deaths given earlier by the National Records of  Scotland  as they do not include suspected coronavirus infections.

Sturgeon said that, despite the positive trends in the virus in recent weeks, it is still expected to “pose a real and significant threat for some time to come”.

She said: “We must keep working to drive it down further, towards the point of elimination – because that then gives us the best chance of keeping it under control through testing, surveillance, contact tracing and the application of targeted suppression measures when necessary.

“The prize if we succeed is getting greater normality back in our lives, maybe more quickly than we would have envisaged a few weeks ago, and without reversals back into blanket lockdown.”

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