Hairdressers will be allowed to reopen in Scotland from April 5, a week earlier than in England – as Nicola Sturgeon announced lockdown easing plans.
The Scottish First Minister said the current ‘stay at home’ order would be lifted from April 2 – to be replaced temporarily by “stay local” guidance for three weeks.
And from April 5, the phased reopening of non essential retail will begin, with click and collect services, homeware stores, care showrooms and forecourts and garden centres will be allowed to reopen.
Barbers and hairdressers will also be allowed to open their doors from the same date.
Remaining retail and hospitality will be able to open in Scotland from April 26.
Pubs and restaurants will be allowed to serve customers outdoors, and some premises may be allowed to serve food indoors – but if this goes ahead, it will be subject to handing over contact details for tracing.
Ms Sturgeon warned against complacency as she announced the easing of restrictions in the coming weeks in Scotland.
The First Minister said that while she hopes to be able to lift the stay-at-home order and open retail and hospitality at different points next month, work was still required to ensure cases did not rise.
She said: “This is certainly the most hopeful I have felt about the situation for a long time.
“However, as you would expect, I do need to add a note of caution.
“I know this is the bit none of us want to hear, but the route back to normality does depend on continued suppression.”
The First Minister added: “We must continue to suppress it to the lowest level possible.”
Contact sports will be allowed to resume for 12-17 year olds from the April 5.
And most students, particularly in Further Education will be allowed to return to on campus education.
Scotland will move out of lockdown and into a “modified Level 3” on April 26.
Ms Sturgeon told MSPs that the vaccination programme will have reached those most at risk of dying from Covd-19, which “will give us confidence to ease restrictions much more significantly from April 26”.
On the same date, travel restrictions across the country will be dropped.
The First Minister said: “We hope that restrictions on journeys between Scotland and other parts of the UK and the wider common travel area can also be lifted, if not on April 26, then as soon as possible thereafter.”
The First Minister told MSPs she hoped to allow all non-essential retail to return, with hospitality premises allowed to serve alcohol outdoors and food only indoors.
Further easing of outdoor socialising restrictions will also happen on that date, with six people from three households being allowed to meet, with those aged between 12 and 17 able to meet with six others from six households.
Attendance at funerals, weddings and associated events will also increase to a maximum of 50 from the same date.
Businesses will receive a “restart grant” from the Scottish Government as coronavirus measures ease.
The First Minister told MSPs those in receipt of the Strategic Business Framework Fund would receive a final payment on March 22.
She added: “Then on April 19, recipients will receive a combined final payment comprising a further two weeks closure support and a one-off restart grant.
“For eligible retail businesses this will mean a payment on April 19 of up to £7,500 and for eligible hospitality and leisure businesses a payment of up to £19,500.
“This will provide support that is both more generous and also more flexible than previously envisaged.”