Four Covid-19 deaths and 414 new cases as Scotland lifts stay-at-home order

Emma O'Neill, PA Scotland
·3-min read

Scotland has recorded four deaths of coronavirus patients and 414 new cases as the stay-at-home order was lifted across the country.

From April 2, the order changed from stay at home to stay local, allowing for travel within a local authority area for non-essential purposes.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the change is a “big step”.

The patient deaths in the past 24 hours bring the toll under this measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – to 7,614.

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The statistics indicate the daily test positivity rate is 2.0%, up from 1.8% on Thursday.

A total of 2,515,748 people have received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination and 414,540 have received their second dose.

The Scottish Government is only publishing updates on the above data during the Easter break and the remaining daily statistics – such as hospital and intensive care figures – will be updated on Tuesday.

Ms Sturgeon tweeted: “First big step out of lockdown with the lifting of the Stay at Home rule today and first phase of retail reopening on Monday.

“Please stay cautious though – Covid is still with us. And until April 26, please stay local – within your own council area (except for essential reasons).”

Scotland will take a larger step out of lockdown on Monday, when hairdressers and barbers can reopen for pre-booked appointments, click-and-collect shopping will be permitted and homeware shops and garden centres can welcome back customers.

Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon urged people across Scotland to stick with the coronavirus restrictions to suppress the virus (Jane Barlow/PA)

University and college students will return for in-person teaching and outdoor contact sports for 12 to 17-year olds resumes.

The First Minister has said she will give further updates in April but that Scotland is on course to ease restrictions further, with cafes, restaurants, shops and gyms due to open from April 26 and more people allowed to meet up outdoors.

Beer gardens, non-essential shops, libraries, museums and galleries are also expected to reopen from that date, and six people from up to three households will be able to meet outdoors.

The current timetable indicates pubs will have to wait until May 17 to reopen indoors, with in-home socialising for up to four people from up to two households expected to be allowed on the same date.

The First Minister previously said continued suppression of the virus “will allow us to enjoy many of the things that we took for granted before the pandemic – for example, normal family gatherings where we can hug our loved ones, sporting events, gigs and nightclubs”.

She said she hopes vaccinations and Test and Protect would lead Scotland closer to normality, but has refused to give a precise date for fully lifting restrictions although she hopes this will be over the summer.

Meanwhile, large groups of people gathered at the Meadows in Edinburgh.

Police – including officers on bicycles – could be seen talking to people who were out enjoying the warmer weather.