Originally written by Anna Jordan on Small Business

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has set out the first part of her plan to ease lockdown restrictions for individuals and businesses in Scotland.

Like Johnson, Sturgeon is focusing on data rather than dates, but is taking a more cautious approach than the PM. She is going for phased and sustainable, with at least three weeks between each phase. Although, she did say that ‘if the data allows, we will seek to accelerate the easing of restrictions.’

More details will be laid out in mid-March, but here’s what we know about Scotland’s Covid-19 roadmap so far.

Phase 3 – April 5

Like Johnson’s roadmap, Sturgeon wants to focus on getting children back to school first, opening the economy at a later stage.

We could see some early easing of business restrictions towards the beginning of April.

  • An extension of what is classed as ‘essential retail’
  • Click and collect will resume for non-essential retail
  • Stay at home restriction lifted

Phase 4 – April 26

From the end of April, Scotland would be moving back to its level system, reopening economy and society ‘in a more substantial way’.

  • Gyms, non-essential retail, hairdressers, bars and restaurants could reopen
  • Non-essential work could be permitted in people’s homes

Returning to a level system

From the end of April, Sturgeon hopes to move everywhere in level 4 to level 3. The content of the levels system could be revised but, at present, people can’t leave their council area under level 3 which is more restrictive for businesses.

No decisions have been made on international travel, which will be revisited at a later date.

Financial support for businesses

Ongoing financial support will be available for businesses and tapered support will be provided for those that may still be facing restrictions and reduced demand. This includes the ongoing commitment to fund the Strategic Framework Business Fund and to provide level 4 payments for an additional month once businesses are moved down a level. In the meantime the Scottish government will be working with business organisations on current issues.

Read more

What coronavirus business support is available from the government?

Covid-19 roadmap – when can I reopen my business in Scotland?

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