Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that Glasgow will be able to move down a lockdown level on Saturday.
Scotland’s biggest city has been stuck in Level 3 lockdown restrictions, while the rest of the mainland was moved to Level 2.
Due to the spread of the so-called Indian variant in some parts of the city, the Scottish Government decided to keep Glasgow in the higher level in a bid to get cases down.
Testing and vaccination programmes were ramped up in the south side of the city in a bid to stem the rapid spread of the virus.
From Saturday, Glaswegians will be able to meet six people from three households indoors and can stay overnight. They will also be allowed to meet eight people from eight different households outdoors for the first time in months.
Glaswegians will also be allowed to leave the council boundary to travel to other parts of the country, including to England and Wales.
Cinemas, bingo halls, concert halls, pubs, gyms, restaurants and stadiums will be allowed to open. People will be allowed to drink inside a restaurant or a pub like the rest of the country as well.
Sturgeon said parts of Scotland could move from Level 2 to Level 1 of the five tiers of restrictions, which run from 0-4.
But Edinburgh and Midlothian, Dundee, East Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire, the three Ayrshire areas, North and South Lanarkshire and Clackmannanshire and Stirling will remain in Level 2.
Those in Level 1 areas can meet outside and indoors in public places in larger groups.
Numbers at events, weddings and funerals can also increase, and pubs can open slightly later indoors.
Scotland currently has the highest rate of new cases of Covid-19 of the four nations of the UK.
But Sturgeon said there are “many parts of mainland Scotland where cases are at very low levels and broadly stable or where case numbers might appear to be rising, but we are assured that they relate to clusters that are being managed”.
Tracy Black, CBI Scotland director, said: “Businesses across Glasgow will be relieved to see an end to level three restrictions finally in sight – for hard hit sectors like hospitality, leisure and tourism in areas now moving to level one, the further easing of restrictions will provide a much-needed boost as they look to make the most of the summer trading period.
“While support from the UK and Scottish governments has helped to keep many firms afloat, nothing can compete with normal trading and businesses will be looking to claw back revenues lost over the past twelve months.
“For those areas that remain under tighter restrictions, owners and staff will have their fingers crossed that health data allows for a further easing of restrictions in the very near future,” Black continued.
“Firms across the country are also looking for clarity as soon as possible on the Scottish Government’s plans for social distancing requirements and Covid-status certification for the weeks and months ahead.”
David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “The easing of the curfew on trading hours is good news for customers in certain local authority areas, and for those businesses directly affected – including coffee shops and quick service restaurants – which can welcome more customers in-store for longer. It’s also good news for their suppliers.
“That said, the patchwork quilt of differing rules and restrictions which apply in each of the 32 local authorities does add to operational complexity.
“While the thrust of the easing is undoubtedly encouraging, many retailers and hospitality businesses rely on the economic eco-system that office workers provide – and their long awaited return is vital to bringing back the shopper footfall and energy that is desperately needed; especially in our city centres.”
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