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Live Reporting

BBC Scotland News

All times stated are UK

  1. Covid in Scotland: The headlines...

    • Scotland's "stay at home" message will change to "stay local" on 2 April
    • Hairdressers, garden centres, car showrooms and click-and-collect will be allowed to reopen in Scotland from 5 April
    • Outdoor contact sports for 12 to 17-year-olds will resume from 5 April
    • The travel ban will be lifted within Scotland from 26 April
    • Also on 26 April all shops, gyms and tourist accommodation reopen, as well as some indoor hospitality (without alcohol)
    • Outdoor hospitality with alcohol permitted will be permitted
    • In-home socialising for up to 4 people from up to 2 households can restart on 17 May
    • International travel won't be possible before 17 May and possibly for a period after that
    View more on twitter
    • Latest Scottish government figures reveal a further 597 people have tested positive for Covid-19. That's 3.8% of the tests carried out yesterday
    • A further seven deaths - of people who tested positive in the last 28 days - have been registered.
    • More than 34,000 people were given their first dose of the vaccine yesterday

    That's all from the live page today. Please take care and stay safe.

  2. Licensing trade group issues viable trading warning

    BBC Radio Scotland

    Bar sign

    Paul Waterson says the news bars can open outdoors from 26 April will be welcome by those businesses with "viable outdoor areas".

    But Mr Waterson, of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, adds: "To be told that we can open without alcohol is, frankly, ludicrous.

    "Only opening until 8pm doesn't do us any good at all.

    "All the way down the line here there will be people who find it impossible to open, impossible to be viable."

    Mr Waterson says even at Level zero there will be many smaller premises that will not be allowed to reopen due to social distancing restrictions.

    He adds: "We are going to have to wait a long tie to get back to some viability."

    Mr Waterson told Drivetime some of his members have amassed debts of between £90,000 and £60,000 during the pandemic.

  3. 'Over the moon' at hairdressing resuming

    BBC Radio Scotland


    Hairdresser and barber salons are to reopen for appointments on 5 April.

    Michael Moran, who owns Pele Hairdressing & Beauty Salon in Glasgow's city centre, says he is "over the moon” at being able to resume haircuts.

    The beauty side of his business will have to wait until 26 April when "close contact" services are allowed to restart.

    Mr Moran says the mental health benefits of hair and beauty cannot be stressed enough.

    “It gives you such a shot in the arm," he says. "You feel better, you look better, you walk taller, you feel younger and healthier."

  4. 'Light at the end of tunnel' for garden centres

    BBC Radio Scotland

    garden centre

    George Gouding, who runs a garden centre in the Clyde Valley, says it is "very welcome news" to be told his business can open indoor and outdoors from 5 April, three weeks earlier than other non-essential retail.

    He said the last update on the road map did not give any clarity but now there was "light at the end of the tunnel".

    Mr Gouding said opening garden centres would be good for people who could now get out in the fresh air and work in their garden.

    The garden centre business also has a restaurant, which will not be able to open for sit-in customers until 26 April.

  5. Treatment of hospitality sector is 'nonsensical'

    BBC Radio Scotland

    Jamie Scott, owner of the Newport restaurant, says the length of time businesses are having to wait is "nonsensical".

    Mr Scott, former winner of Masterchef Professionals, adds it is "so poor" the sector is having to wait longer to reopen than hairdressers.

    He says: "I don't understand how you can walk into a non-essential retail shop, not give any details over, be in there as long as you like, not be policed in what you are doing, touch everything you want and leave when you want."

    Mr Scott compares this to the set up at his restaurant, which must abide by track and trace and have strict measures in place.

  6. 'There's a lot that retailers will welcome'


    Ewan MacDonald Russell from the Scottish Retail Consortium tells Radio Scotland: "We're certainly quite happy with what we heard today."

    Mr Russell says retailers will welcome garden centres and hardware stores reopening on 5 April and also click and collect services being opened up to everyone

    "This will allow smaller shops the ability to compete online."

    He also welcomes "the big opening date on the 26 April, when we can finally get shops reopened after what feels like an eternity closed."

    Mr Russell also welcomes the stay local message that will replace the stay at home message on 2 April, encouraging shoppers to go their local high street.

    A lot of local shops are "surviving on government grants which is not where anybody wants to be", he adds.

  7. Business group calls for 'alignment across all UK nations'

    People in masks

    Dr Liz Cameron, chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, says the first minister's statement will enable many businesses and customers to start planning and preparing for re-opening.

    She adds the intention to relax travel restrictions should support the viability of the tourism, hospitality and retail sectors.

    But Dr Cameron also calls for clarification of what is allowed in the various levels of restrictions, sooner rather than later.

    She adds: "We would urge alignment across all UK nations which enables the industry to restart together and to avoid confusion for travellers."

    On the establishment of restart grants, Dr Cameron says: "It makes more sense to provide businesses with a lump sum so they can deploy these resources where it can be of most use."

  8. FM announcement 'horrible for hospitality'

    BBC Radio Scotland


    Lockerbie-based hotel owner Stephen Montgomery tells Radio Scotland's Drivetime that today's announcement is "horrible for hospitality".

    Mr Montgomery, spokesman for the Scottish Hospitality Group, says there is "pent up demand from customers" but he adds: "From 9 October we have seen hospitality shut across the central belt and the spike in positive cases went right through the roof.

    "So it is well seen alcohol cannot be attributed to this. What happened is that people gathered in homes."

    He warns that unless businesses get a clear run in the summer they will end up experiencing another period comparable with the winter.

  9. Covid in Scotland: What do the latest stats tell us?


    Figures updated at 14:00 daily.

    Read the full breakdown here.

  10. SUMMARY: Hairdressers to reopen on 5 April as rules ease

    Hairdressers and garden centres will be allowed to reopen in Scotland from 5 April, days after the "stay at home" lockdown order will be lifted.

    People will still have to stay inside their own local authority areas until 26 April, when the travel ban will be lifted within Scotland.

    That date will also see all shops, gyms and tourist accommodation reopen, as well as some indoor hospitality.

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that "brighter days are ahead of us".

    The "stay at home" order, which has been in place since December, will be lifted on 2 April - although Ms Sturgeon said people would be encouraged to "stay local" for a further three weeks.

    Read more here.

  11. Shoe shop owner 'confused and upset' at having to wait to reopen

    BBC Radio Scotland

    For some non-essential retail, today's news was less good.

    Hairdressers and barbers will reopen on Monday, 5 April, but other retail outlets will have to wait another three weeks until 26 April.

    Kerrie Guiney, who runs the Perfect Fit shoe shop in Peebles, tells Drivetime: "I'm feeling a bit confused, a bit upset that we're not on the list of shops that is classed as essential.

    "We totally expected to be able to reopen on the 5th of April or at least sooner than the 26th of April."

    Quote Message: So yeah feeling a bit disappointed that putting, no offence, haircuts, and putting being able to go and buy a new car and a new plant for your garden ahead of children's feet and making sure our children are in properly fitted footwear. from Kerrie Guiney Show shop owner
    Kerrie GuineyShow shop owner
  12. 'The change in tone feels significant'

    Glenn Campbell

    BBC Scotland Political Editor

    Data not dates was to be the key to lockdown easing in Scotland.

    The first minister now seems confident enough in the trend in coronavirus suppression data to give indicative dates for when traditional freedoms should be restored.

    When Boris Johnson did this a few weeks ago, Nicola Sturgeon was criticised by some for being overly cautious and insufficiently optimistic.

    Today, there’s caution still - all easing depends on keeping down the virus and keeping up the vaccination programme.

    But the first minister said this was the “most hopeful” she had felt for a long time and that “something much closer to actual normality” might be achieved as we move into summer.

    The change in tone feels significant and this timetable comes just a week before the first anniversary of the original lockdown.

  13. 'To get hair back will be amazing'


    So hairdressers and barbers will re-open on Monday 5 April but other retail outlets will have to wait until 26 April.

    Karen Thomson, who owns KAM Hair and Body Spa in Lossiemouth, tells Radio Scotland's Drivetime this is the news she was hoping for:

    "We are all just so excited. Our hair department will get back so we will be able to cut and colour.

    "Our beauty department will have to wait till we get further notice.

    "But just to get back to hair will be amazing."

    Ms Thomson says E-mail salon messages have been going crazy already:

    Quote Message: I'm just glad that part of my business can get back. Haircuts, for all of us, it's not just about the haircut it's about how people feel, about the feelgood factor... Hopefully we've learned a lot and it will be quite seamless going back." from Karen Thomson KAM Hair and Body Spa in Lossiemouth
    Karen ThomsonKAM Hair and Body Spa in Lossiemouth
  14. Pubs face 'devastating' return to restrictions


    The Campaign for Real Ale says pubs will need continued financial support to cope with a "devastating" return to restrictions.

    CAMRA Scotland’s director Joe Crawford said: “Pub goers, licensees and brewers will be disappointed to see our pubs being treated unfairly compared to similar businesses like cafés and non-essential retail.

    “The return of curfews and a ban on alcohol being consumed indoors is devastating news for the industry which is looking to reopen Covid-secure venues so that people can socialise safely."

    Mr Crawford welcomed the restart grants announced by the government, but added without a full and proper reopening and with continuing restrictions, more support would be needed before his members could trade at full capacity.

    Quote Message: For many businesses it just won’t be worthwhile opening back up as they won’t be able to turn a profit under these draconian restrictions. from Joe Crawford CAMRA Scotland director
    Joe CrawfordCAMRA Scotland director
  15. Full lockdown easing timetable

    The Scottish government has published a full breakdown of the plans to lift lockdown in the coming weeks.

    See the details here.

  16. FSB: 'The crisis is nowhere near finished for thousands of Scottish firms'

    Shop closed

    The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) welcomed the first minister's announcement but warned that the survival of many local firms is still in doubt.

    Policy chair Andrew McRae said the indicative dates allowed many firms to plan ahead, while the "restrained optimism from the first minister may encourage some small businesses not to throw in the towel."

    But he cautioned that many businesses faced a countdown before their reserves of cash and resolve were exhausted.

    He said: "Half of all Scottish independent business owners say they're worried about their survival, and official figures show that local Scottish enterprises are laden with billions of pound of debt.

    "The crisis is nowhere near finished for thousands of important local Scottish firms."

    He added more action was needed to help local businesses deal with the long-term consequences of the pandemic.

  17. What are the new levels?

    From 26 April, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was expected all parts of Scotland currently in level 4 would move down to a "modified" level 3. The island communities currently in level 3 will have the option to move at that stage to level 2 but this could have implications for travel and will be discussed further.

    LEVEL 3

    The new "modified" level 3 from 26 April would see cafes, pubs and restaurants allowed to open until 20:00 indoors (no alcohol) and 22:00 outdoors (alcohol permitted). Up to four people from two households can socialise indoors in a public place such as a café or restaurant. Up to six people from up to three households can socialise outdoors. All remaining retail premises and close contact services will re-open. Gyms can open for individual exercise. Indoor attractions and public buildings such as galleries, museums and libraries can open. Funerals and weddings including post-funeral events and receptions can take place with up to 50 people (no alcohol).

    LEVEL 2

    From 17 May, it is hoped that all level 3 areas - or as many as possible - will move to level 2. This will see hospitality venues open until 22:30 indoors (alcohol permitted, two-hour dwell time) and 22:00 outdoors (alcohol permitted). Up to four people from two households can socialise indoors in a private home or public space. Cinemas, amusement arcades and bingo halls can reopen. Outdoor adult contact sport and indoor group exercise can restart.

    LEVEL 1

    From early June, the ambition is for all of Scotland will move to level 1 - which will allow for a further easing of restrictions. Up to six people from up to three households will be able to socialise indoors in a home or public place. Up to eight people from three households can socialise outdoors. Eight 12-17 year olds can meet socially from eight households outdoors. Hospitality can remain open until 23:00. Indoor non-contact sport can take place.

    LEVEL 0

    By the end of June, it is hoped that all of Scotland will move to at least level 0. This could mean a phased return of some office staff. The Scottish government will be assessing the situation on an ongoing basis, with a view to restoring as much normality as possible.

  18. More reaction to the first minister's statement coming up on Drivetime

    BBC Radio Scotland

    Drivetime is due to begin on Radio Scotland shortly and will have all the reaction and analysis to the first minister's timetable out of lockdown.

    This includes being able to get a haircut on April the 5th and a trip to the gym, the shops, a hotel, a cafe and a beer garden from the 26th.

    However there will be no visiting other people indoors before 17 May.

    Join Laura MacIver from 4pm.

  19. Greens concerned about increase in cases among under-14s

    Alison Johnstone says the Scottish Greens support a cautious approach to easing lockdown, but warns of the increase in daily case numbers compared with last week.

    Ms Johnstone says there has been reports of an increase in cases due to the unsafe gathering of football fans in Glasgow.

    Alison Johnstone

    She also asks about a "marked increase" in case numbers in children under 14 years old and whether lateral flow testing will be introduced for students.

    The first minister says lateral flow testing will be used to support the return of further and higher education students in April.

    Ms Sturgeon says there has been a small number of cases amongst the people that gathered for the "football incident" in Glasgow.

    She adds there may be more cases due to the incubation period.

    The first minister warns any time people come together, there is a greater increase in the chance of transmission and highlights mitigations brought into schools.