Scotland's first minister unveils roadmap out of COVID-19 lockdown

2021-02-23 16:06:12 GMT2021-02-24 00:06:12(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

LONDON, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Tuesday announced the roadmap out of the coronavirus lockdown.

Speaking at the Scottish Parliament, Sturgeon said that four people from two households will be allowed to meet outdoors from March 15.

Meanwhile, the rest of primary school years, as well as more secondary school pupils, will return to classrooms from that date. The youngest pupils in Scotland have started returning to school on Monday.

Sturgeon said "stay at home" restriction will likely end on April 5, adding that the Scottish government's approach to lifting lockdown was "deliberately cautious" at this stage.

"But in the coming weeks, if the data allows and positive trends continue, we will seek to accelerate the easing of restrictions," she said.

The Scottish first minister said the reopening of shops, bars, restaurants, gyms and hairdressers is expected to start in the last week of April and Scotland will return to a levels system of restrictions, with a move down from Level Four to Level Three for most areas.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Monday the long anticipated "roadmap" to ease the current coronavirus lockdown in England.

Schools in England will reopen from March 8 as first part of the four-step plan, which Johnson said was designed to be "cautious but irreversible".

England is currently under the third national lockdown since outbreak of the pandemic in the country. Similar restriction measures are also in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The British government is only responsible for coronavirus restrictions in England. The devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are responsible for their own policies in relation to public health matters.

More than 17.7 million people in Britain have been given the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine, according to latest official figures.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines. Enditem