The Scottish Government plans to lift all major remaining legal coronavirus restrictions on August 9 if possible, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.
The first minister confirmed a new roadmap out of lockdown today as she announced a three-week delay on easing restrictions.
It was hoped that all of mainland Scotland would move to Level 0 on June 28, but will now remain at current levels until July 19.
Now however, those restrictions are expected to lift on August 9 – and could go “beyond Level 0” with all physical distancing axed, if all over 40s have received their vaccine.
Ms Sturgeon said: “From July 19, and then more substantially, from August 9 – assuming we are meeting our revised strategic aim of alleviating the harm of the virus – life should feel much less restricted for all of us.
“A very significant degree of normality will be restored – for individuals and for businesses. As I said earlier, these are indicative dates, but they allow us to plan ahead with more clarity. As always, we all have a part to play in keeping us on track.”
All adult priority groups are due to be fully vaccinated by the end of this week.
Remaining adults are expected to have received their second dose by September 12.
If all goes to plan, here is what can be expected over the next few months:
All areas across Scotland will remain at their current levels for the next three weeks.
Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles previously moved to Level 0 on June 5 due to a low number of new cases on the islands.
Council areas, including Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Moray, Highland and Perth and Kinross will remain at Level 1.
Up to six people from three households can meet indoors and stay overnight without physical distancing.
In indoor public places, up to eight people from three households can meet, while up to 12 people from 12 households can meet outdoors.
Much of the central belt of Scotland remain at Level 2, including Dundee, Stirling, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Only six people from up to three households can meet at indoor public places in Level 2.
For outdoor gatherings, it rises to eight people from eight households, not including children under 12.
Travel is permitted across all of Scotland and to other parts of the UK.
The first minister confirmed some good news for the wedding industry and engaged couples today.
Suppliers of wedding services and other people employed by a couple getting married will no longer count towards the cap on attendance from June 28.
The couple and anyone accompanying them down the aisle will no longer need to wear a face covering and live entertainment can return at receptions while guests remain seated.
Also, more than one household will be allowed to carry the coffin and take a cord at funerals. Crematoriums and churches will also be able to relay services to outside areas.
Attendance at both life events, including receptions, is capped at 100 people.
The next scheduled review point is now July 19, although Ms Sturgeon will give advance notice if changes are likely the week before.
The whole of Scotland will therefore move to Level 0 on July 19 if all necessary vaccination and harm reduction measures are met.
By July 19, all adults over the age of 50 should have been fully vaccinated for at least three weeks which will give everyone in that age group significant protection.
If the data allows, physical distancing outdoors will be removed and reduced to one metre in indoor public places.
A move to Level 0 will mean up to 10 people from four households can socialise at an indoor public place, such as a restaurant, pub or café.
Up to eight people from four households can meet in a private residence and stay overnight.
The current rules for Level 0 state that up to 15 people from 15 households can meet outdoors, but in today’s update it was announced that informal social gatherings of any size will be allowed.
The number of people able to attend weddings, civil partnerships and funerals will also rise to 200, which includes receptions with alcohol permitted.
Other life events, such as christenings, bat mitzvahs and anniversaries, will be permitted to take place under similar guidelines as weddings and funerals.
It was also confirmed that different households will be able to share a bedroom in tourist accommodation and that working from home will remain the default in Level 0.
The maximum capacities at stadia and events also rise in Level 0 to 400 people indoors, 2,000 seated outdoors and 1,000 outdoors free-standing.
The Scottish Government is aiming to lift all major restriction on August 9.
During today’s statement, Ms Sturgeon said: “The move beyond Level 0 will be a major milestone and it will signal a return to almost complete normality in our day to day lives.”
It is hoped that legal requirements will be lifted but people will still be urged to remain cautious.
Ms Sturgeon confirmed that an immediate return to offices will not be advised on August 9, but the government will work with businesses on phased returns.
Further details will be announced on schools, colleges and universities closer to their return dates.
Measures such as regular hand washing and sanitising, cleaning surfaces and good ventilation will continue to be of importance.
The use of face coverings in certain settings, including shops and public transport, will also continue “at least for a period”.
Any outbreaks will still need to be managed closely to prevent the virus from spreading again and compliance with Test and Protect will continue. This will include periods of self-isolation when necessary.
The first minster concluded her statement today by saying we are “living in more hopeful times”.
She added: “The path ahead is not obstacle-free, but it is clearer than at any point so far.
“Thanks to vaccines, normal life is now much closer, it is within sight. So let’s stick with it and do what is required to get us there.”