Scotland Reopening RECAP: Coronavirus lockdown eases across Scotland, pubs, shops and gyms reopen, loved ones are reunited on Monday April 26

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Cafes, beer gardens, non-essential shops and museums are reopening in Scotland on Monday as lockdown easing continues.

The country moves from Level 4 to Level 3 of the Scottish Government’s five tiers of restrictions on April 26.

You can follow along with our dedicated live blog for all the latest updates throughout the day.

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Scotland Reopening LIVE: Coronavirus lockdown eases across Scotland, pubs, shops and gyms reopen, loved ones are reunited on Monday April 26

Key Events

  • Country moves from Level 4 to Level 3
  • Pub pints and museum visits are back
  • Gyms, swimming pools, libraries can reopen

What’s not reopening on Monday, 26 April?

Today shop doors have been flung open, pubs are allowed to serve drinks outside, and restaurants are back in business.

But what’s not reopening?

Read more here

Scotland records 142 new Covid cases - but no further deaths

Scotland recorded no new coronavirus deaths and 142 new cases in the past 24 hours, according to the latest data.

The death toll under this daily measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – remains at 7,652, but the Scottish Government stressed registry offices are generally closed at the weekend.

The daily test positivity rate is 1.7%, up from 1.3% on Sunday, and a total of 225,346 people have now tested positive in Scotland.

The latest Scottish Government figures, published on Monday, show there were 93 people in hospital on Sunday confirmed to have the virus and 12 patients in intensive care.

So far 2,773,770 people in Scotland have received the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine and 1,068,704 have received their second dose.

Queues outside TK Maxx at Fort Kinnaird.

These were the scenes as gyms, pubs and salons welcomed back customers after months of lockdown

Plans to lift remaining Covid restrictions in Scotland could be sped up 'safely', declare Tories

Scots shoppers urged to ‘spend and keep safe’ as stores reopen

Shoppers in Scotland have been reminded over mask-wearing and distancing as retailers look to claw back £4.1 billion in lost sales since the start of the pandemic.

From Monday, “non-essential” shops are allowed to open their doors to the public after being shuttered since Boxing Day, with millions spent on safety-proofing them against Covid transmission.

The Scottish Retail Consortium urged shoppers to queue considerately and be mindful over distancing and mask-wearing after “four long months of closure” for shops.

It expects an “initial surge” as customers venture out but said the “real test will be how this holds up”.

Director David Lonsdale said: “Retailers have spent millions of pounds to make shops Covid-secure for customers and colleagues.

“We encourage Scots to get out and visit their favourite shops over the coming weeks knowing every purchase they make and every item they buy is a local job supported and a high street helped.

“Unlocking consumer spending will be central to Scotland’s economic recovery and to bouncing back quickly.

“Many of us will be looking forward to returning to our favourite shop in the coming weeks and we all have a duty to keep each other safe.”

Lush on Edinburgh’s Princes Street had a small queue of people waiting outside for its doors to open on Monday.

Manager Alan Brown said staff had been looking forward to welcoming back customers.

He told the PA news agency: “We’re all really excited, we’ve been preparing for the last few weeks with lots of training, with the shop, getting all the new products out as well.

“We’re just really excited to be speaking to people again after such a long time.”

He added he was looking forward to “a bit of laughter, a bit of fun” inside the store with the return of customers.

Queues also formed outside the nearby Zara store while some shops opened extra early.

Primark on Princes Street welcomed shoppers at 7.30am, and one shopper told the PA news agency she was delighted to be back in the store.

She said: “It’s great fun, I got loads – jammies, a jacket, socks, a pair of jeans, stuff for the kids – they were running riot, they thought it was great.”

Meanwhile, the public were asked to think about staying local and supporting businesses in struggling town centre high streets.

Scotland’s Towns Partnership’s Phil Prentice says it is vital that economic recovery from the pandemic grows from the grassroots.

He said: “By supporting your local businesses you will be helping the national recovery.

“The importance of today for those retail, hospitality and leisure businesses which have been unable to open since December cannot be underestimated. Their survival, however, depends on support. And the most critical support comes from their community. This is a chance to rediscover and celebrate all that’s on our doorstep.

“We hope that today can signal the start of a summer of success, both in terms of beating the pandemic and for businesses bouncing back.

“Thinking local first – and safety first – will give the greatest chances of realising those hopes.”

As well as retailers and other shops, gyms, swimming pools, tourist accommodation, libraries and beauty salons are among the venues which can once again serve customers from Monday.

Leaders set out plans to help business as Covid restrictions ease in Scotland

Political leaders have focused on their plans to help businesses recover from coronavirus as restrictions were eased across Scotland.

Non-essential retail re-opened for business after the latest lockdown, with bars, restaurants and cafes also getting up and running again – although they still have some restrictions in place.

The Tories, however, insisted plans to lift the remaining restrictions could be speeded up “safely” – saying dozens of businesses backed their calls for faster reopening.

The row over the speed at which lockdown should be lifted came as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said this latest relaxation of the rules was “another big step forward in our recovery from the pandemic”.

She stressed: “After a long winter for all of us, I know that people across Scotland are keen to get out there and support their local businesses as they reopen – and I would encourage them to do so, safely.”

The First Minister highlighted SNP plans for a £25 million tourism recovery fund, hailing the sector as being “one of Scotland’s crown jewels”.

But she said it was also “one of the sectors hardest-hit by Covid-19”, adding that the £25 million fund would help people on low incomes or those who have caring responsibilities enjoy short breaks in Scotland.

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