Travel in Scotland allowed as Covid restrictions relaxed from tomorrow

Borders residents will be able to travel across Scotland to meet with family and friends from tomorrow.

Thursday, 15th April 2021, 4:21 pm
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon reacts as she makes a statement on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions at the Scottish Parliament on February 23, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The First Minister set out the country's plans for a gradual easing of the current lockdown restrictions, with the eventual return to the “levels” system for different areas of Scotland. (Photo by Fraser Bremner - Pool / Getty Images)

It comes after Nicola Sturgeon accelerated relaxation of lockdown restrictions on travel and outdoor meetings on Tuesday, saying Covid was “in retreat” in Scotland.

Announcing the changes, which will allow people to meet with family and friends in larger groups, the first minister said from this Friday (April 16), Scots will be able to travel anywhere within the country for outdoor socialising and exercise, and up to six adults from six households can meet outdoors.

However, unecessary cross border travel into England, where pubs and restaurants are already allowed to serve outside and non-essential shops have been allowed to reopen, is not yet allowed.

Urging people to continue to stick to the rules, especially around indoor meetings, Ms Sturgeon said: “Covid is in retreat in Scotland but it hasn’t gone away.”

Dr Tim Paterson, joint director of public health for the Borders, said: "From Friday you can meet with up to six people from six different households and travel across Scotland.

"This will allow people to meet up with loved ones who they have not seen for some time. I'm sure these changes will help with people's mental health.

“It is hoped that people in Scotland will be able to travel anywhere across Britain from April 26. However, until this date, you are only permitted to cross the border for essential purposes and this does not include leisure, non-essential shopping, visiting hospitality premises or staying in tourist accommodation.

"Please remain patient and stick with the rules in order to continue protecting each other and our local health and social care services.”

Further changes are expected to come into effect from April 26, when all of Scotland is expected to move to Level 3 from Level 4 in the Covid-19 protection system, which will see the hospitality sector steadily reopen as well as shops, gyms and swimming pools.

Ms Sturgeon said that people should be able to meet indoors in limited numbers from the middle of May, and that she hoped to see a return to even greater normality by the summer.”