Coronavirus in Scotland: What are the differences between England and Scotland, when do pubs reopen, what changes on April 26?

Lockdown restrictions have eased significantly in England as of today, including the reopening of non-essential retail and beer gardens.
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But in Scotland, the rules are slightly different, with most restrictions set to lift on 26 April.

Here is a reminder of the Scottish Government’s routemap out of lockdown (proposed but not officially confirmed):

26 April:

Crowds enjoying Portobello on Easter weekend as lockdown restrictions eased picture: Scott LoudenCrowds enjoying Portobello on Easter weekend as lockdown restrictions eased picture: Scott Louden
Crowds enjoying Portobello on Easter weekend as lockdown restrictions eased picture: Scott Louden
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all retail premises, libraries, museums and galleries, and tourist accommodation set to open the hospitality sector would be able to reopen outdoors for the service of alcohol, and potentially open indoors for non-alcohol service up to four people from two households could be able to socialise indoors in a public place such as a café or restaurant six people from up to three households could be able to meet outdoors and the limit on wedding and funeral attendance could be raised to 50 people gyms and swimming pools would be open for individual exercise and non-essential childcare would be permitted non-essential work in peoples’ homes and driving lessons could resume from this date

17 May: Scotland will move from Level 3 to Level 2

Indoor socialising set to be allowed, with four people from two households permitted to gather Rules around outdoor mixing also set to be eased further Pubs will be allowed to reopen indoors Cinemas, amusement arcades and bingo halls will be able to reopen Outdoor contact sport for adults set to return

June: Scotland will move to Level 1 at the start of the month, before dropping to Level 0 before the end of June

Early June

up to 6 people from up to 3 households can socialise indoors in a home or public place up to 8 people from 3 households can socialise outdoors. 8 12-17-year-olds can meet socially from 8 households outdoors hospitality can remain open until 11pm attendance at events can increase, subject to capacity constraints indoor non-contact sport can take place. increased numbers at life events and places of worship subject to stakeholder engagement casinos, funfairs and soft play can open, subject to capacity constraints

From end of June

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a phased return of some office staff events increase numbers subject to capacity constraints increased numbers at life events and places of worship subject to stakeholder engagement Nicola Sturgeon has not confirmed when she will be able to lift Covid restrictions entirely.


There are four steps to easing England's lockdown. Step one was completed in two parts on 8 and 29 March.

The next steps are as follows:

12 April – step 2

Non-essential shops, hairdressers, gyms, swimming pools, nail salons, libraries, and outdoor attractions such as theme parks and zoos are allowed to reopen Outdoor hospitality can reopen, including pubs and restaurants - with the rule of six or a larger group from two households Customers do not have to buy a substantial meal to have an alcoholic drink and there is no curfew but people have to be seated when ordering and eating or drinking Two specified people can visit care home residents Children can attend indoor children's activities, including sport Parent and child groups of up to 15 people (not counting children aged under five) can restart indoors Self-catering holidays in the UK with your own household is allowed Funerals of up to 30 people. Weddings and wakes of up to 15 people Driving lessons are allowed but tests can not take place until 22 April

17 May – step three

Outdoors, most social contact rules will be lifted, but gatherings of more than 30 will be illegal Indoors, the rule of six or a larger group of up to two households will be allowed Indoor hospitality - pubs, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, museums, galleries, concert halls, children play areas, hotels, B&Bs, indoor exercise classes - will be allowed Advice on social distancing between family and friends, including hugging, will be updated no later than 17 May Large indoor performances and sporting events with a capacity of 1,000 people will be allowed Outdoor large performances and sporting events will have a maximum capacity of 4,000 people or must only be half full, whichever is lower Bigger sports stadiums will be allowed 10,000 people or can only be a quarter full, whichever is lower Testing will be used to support these openings Weddings, wedding receptions, wakes, funerals and christenings will be allowed with 30 people.

21 June – step 4

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All legal limits on social contact removed Government hopes to reopen nightclubs and lift restrictions on large events such as festivals Testing could be used as a condition of entry Ministers hope to remove restrictions on weddings

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