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No date for return of live entertainment in Scotland

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon declined to set a date for the return of non-socially distanced live entertainment in her rival ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown, presented today (16 March).

Unlike south of the border, where British prime minister Boris Johnson (the de facto leader of England, the UK’s biggest nation not having its own devolved administration) has set 21 June as the provisional date for a return to normality, Sturgeon said that while it is possible Scotland could be at ‘level zero’ (little or no restrictions) by the end of June, “it is not possible to provide specific dates or details” that far ahead.

Under the first minister’s timetable, stay-at-home (lockdown) orders will be lifted on 2 April, with other services, including hairdressers and garden centres, able to open from 5 April. Further easing expected on 26 April includes allowing people to socialise outside and hospitality businesses to reopen outdoors for alcohol service, and “potentially” indoors for non-alcoholic drinks and food.

From 17 May, it is hoped “small-scale”, capacity-limited events, both indoor and outdoor, will be able to resume, pending the successful continuation of the UK’s vaccine roll-out.

“I do believe that over the coming weeks as more and more adults are vaccinated it will be possible to set a firmer date”

“It is not possible to provide specific dates or details for coming out of lockdown beyond 17 May – that will depend on what impact there is from the changes already made,” said Sturgeon. “However, my hope and ambition is that from early June, all of Scotland will effectively be in level one of the levels system, allowing for a further easing of restrictions – and possibly moving to level zero in late June.”

Level zero, said Sturgeon (pictured), would include “many of the things that we took for granted before the pandemic: normal family gatherings where we can hug our loved ones, sporting events, gigs and nightclubs. I cannot set a date for that point yet, but I do believe that over the coming weeks as more and more adults are vaccinated it will be possible to set a firmer date by which many of these normal things will be possible, and I am very optimistic that this date will be over the summer.

“Thanks to the sacrifices we all made three months ago, and the success of the vaccination programme, we are now in a much better and brighter position, with well-earned optimism as we look ahead to the summer. We are getting the virus under control, but it is still dangerous, and to reach these dates it’s more important than ever now to stay within the rules.”

At press time, Scottish music festivals such as Eden Festival (10–13 June), Trnsmt (9–11 July), Belladrum (29–31 July) are still planning for a return this summer.


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