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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon unveils Scotland's roadmap out of lockdown, with economy expected to open up at the end of April

By Jonathan Clark

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FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon has unveiled a roadmap to reopening Scotland's economy after the coronavirus-enforced lockdown.

Ms Sturgeon said she hopes the 'stay at home' message can be scrapped by April 5, with non-essential shops expected to begin opening up on April 26.

Yesterday marked the beginning of the "deliberately cautious" reopening of society with the return to school for many of the country's younger learners.

The second phase of schools reopening is expected on March 15, along with an easing of rules on social contact to allow four people from two households to meet up.

The reopening of schools should be complete by April 5, at the same time as the 'stay at home' message being lifted.

By April 26, non-essential shops should begin to reopen. This will happen if Scotland reaches its target of vaccinating half of the population by mid April.

Scotland's roadmap out of lockdown.
Scotland's roadmap out of lockdown.

Once the economy reopens, Scotland will return to the tier system – seen before Christmas – which can be adjusted for each local authority.

More detail on the order in which the economy will reopen will be given in mid March.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "I know how hard current restrictions are after 11 long months of this pandemic, however they are working and we can now see our way out of them. We are in a far better position now than at the start of January.

"We need to rely on restrictions for a while, but once the majority of adults have received their first dose of the vaccine we hope that will become our main tool for virus suppression.

"The strategic framework is deliberately cautious and, if positive trends continue, then we can accelerate.

"It all depends on continuing to suppress the virus and accept trade-offs, for example on international travel, for a while."

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