NICOLA Sturgeon has today confirmed lockdown measures will be eased in Scotland.

The First Minister said phase 1 of the four-phase plan will begin from tomorrow with some "careful but cautious changes" to protocol.

She thanked the Scottish public, saying the fact the changes could be made were down to compliance with lockdown measures.

Ms Sturgeon said that a downward trend was “sustained and unmistakable”.

People will also now be allowed to sit and sunbathe in local parks.

A legal limit will not be put on how far people will be allowed to travel for recreation but the First Minister said the “strong advice” of the Scottish Government was to stay within five miles.

What can I do?

Meeting family and friends:

The First Minister confirmed today that as of tomorrow, your household will now be able to meet up with another household outdoors.

This will need to be in small groups - a maximum of eight.

You can meet outdoors and in private gardens, but with social distancing required at all times.

Under 'phase 1', you will not allowed to meet other households indoors - this will come in phase 2. 

The First Minister advised those wanting to have a BBQ with other households to bring their own food and avoid contact with others.

Sports and outdoor activity

The easing of restrictions mean as of tomorrow, more outdoor activity will be permitted.

This includes sunbathing or sitting in the park, as long as social distancing is maintained.

Cumnock Chronicle:

Unrestricted outdoor exercise will continue, with non-contact sport such as golf, hiking, canoeing, outdoor swimming, fishing and bowls all back on the table.

Shopping/Fast Food

Drive-thru outlets will be allowed to re-open under the new plans.

Garden centres and plant nurseries can also reopen with physical distancing.

However cafes should not open at this stage - except for takeaway.

Schools

School staff are to return to the classrooms from Monday - with Nicola Sturgeon confirming all schools in Scotland will reopen from August 11.

The reopening of schools will be a 'blended model' of in-school and at-home learning.

From next week, child-minding services can reopen.

Transition support will be available for children starting P1 and S1 as of next week.

Work

As we move into Phase 1, remote working remains the "default position" for those who can.

For those who have to travel to work, a employers are encouraged to use staggered start times and flexible working.

Most outdoor work can begin from tomorrow, with construction work able to resume site preparation.

Recycling Centres

Recycling centres in Scotland will be allowed to open.

What can't I do?

Pubs/Restaurants

Under the current guidance, pubs and restaurants will not be able to reopen next week.

As of phase 2, which is an unknown date as yet, pubs and restaurants can open their outdoor spaces with physical distancing and increased hygeine routines.

Only when we reach phase 3 will pubs be allowed to open their indoor spaces.

Retailers

Non-essential shops like fashion retailers will be asked to remain closed at this time.

Other households

You still cannot enter other households.

This means when visiting other gardens, the First Minister encouraged common sense - adding not to travel too far in case you need to use the toilet.

Public Transport

Public transport remains limited for essential journeys only.

You should not take public transport for exercise or to visit friends outdoors.

Visiting beauty spots

The advice remains on not visiting these areas.

The First Minister said: “We simply don’t want, in this phase, large numbers of people at tourist hotspots or beauty spots.

“Crowds of people, even if they’re trying to social distance, bring more risk than we judge is acceptable at this point.”

Contact sports?

Contact sports, like football and rugby, remain off limits during the current review.

Only non-contact sports where physical distancing can be remained are allowed during the new protocol.