Travel restrictions across Scotland will be eased ahead of schedule from Friday, Nicola Sturgeon has announced after Covid cases reached an almost seven-month low. The First Minister told a briefing in Edinburgh on Tuesday that a reduction in the prevalence of the virus meant an acceleration of planned lockdown easing was possible in order to support people's mental health and well-being. While the date was originally set for April 26, Scots will now be able to travel anywhere within Scotland for the purpose of outdoor socialising, recreation or exercise from Friday April 16 onwards. The new rules also stipulate that six adults from six different households can meet up outside, with under-12s not included in that number. While the "Stay Home" order in Scotland was dropped on April 2, residents have still had to remain within their local authority area. Travel restrictions for wider purposes such as leisure, shopping, visiting hospitality premises or staying in tourist accommodation will remain until April 26. The Scottish government is also expected to allow travel to and from England from that date. "In summary, from the end of this week, you will be able to meet up with family and friends who live in different parts of the country," Ms Sturgeon said. "I know that many of those reunions will be long-awaited and much anticipated – but please do remember that at this stage meetings, probably until the middle of May, must still be outdoors and not within our own homes and I would ask everyone to please be careful." The First Minister also confirmed that Scotland is "firmly on track" for a substantial planned reopening of the economy on April 26, which will see cafes, restaurants and beer gardens return along with shops, gyms, libraries and museums. The change in Scotland's lockdown plan follows the reporting of just 199 positive Covid cases on Monday. Ms Sturgeon told the briefing that "significant progress" has been made in reducing the number of cases in the country, adding that they had fallen by 40 per cent in the last two weeks. She said the country is "heading in the right direction, but we cannot afford to take our foot off the brake too soon".