Nicola Sturgeon scrambles to lift Covid travel ban as Scots protest England reopening

Nicola Sturgeon eases travel restrictions ahead of schedule

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Nicola Sturgeon has announced she is lifting the travel ban in Scotland allowing Scots to travel anywhere within the nation. From this Friday, April 16 onwards, six adults from up to six households can meet up outdoors anywhere in Scotland for outdoor socialising, recreation or informal exercise. The announcement comes one day after England further eased lockdown measures to allow shops and pubs with gardens to welcome customers back after months of standstill.

The First Minister said: “The improved data does not allow us simply to throw caution to the wind, certainly not if we want to be sensible about this but it does give us a bit of limited headroom.

“So we’ve considered whether we can bring forward any changes that will particularly boost mental health and wellbeing so we focused really on trying as far as possible to give families more opportunity to get together earlier than was planned.”

Sturgeon announced how from Friday onwards six adults from up to six households can meet up outdoors anywhere in Scotland.

The SNP leader added these can be “for the purposes of outdoor socialising, recreation or informal exercise.”

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She accepted that reunions will be “long-awaited” and much anticipated”.

But she warned Scots: “Please do remember that at this stage, probably until the middle of May, meetings must be outdoors, not inside our own homes.”

Currently, Scots are not allowed to leave their local authority area without a good excuse, this rule was due to change on April 26 but Ms Sturgeon explained how new data has meant this can take now place on Friday, April 16.

The rules apply only for people within Scotland as England and Wales follow a different lockdown easing timetable.

Scotland: ‘Frustration’ amongst businesses says Tim Allan

Nicola Sturgeon faced a fierce attack from Scottish Chambers of Commerce president Tim Allan who said “anger” was growing amongst hospitality bosses in Scotland who are frustrated at the sluggish easing of restrictions in Scotland.

He told The Nine programme: “I think over the last 10 days there’s been a real profound sense of frustration amongst the various business groups in the country which is starting to break out amongst our members as anger.

“Certainly the Scottish hospitality group came out this morning with a profound desire to see greater flexibility towards their sector.”

He added: “And that is particularly stoked by the images coming from down south.”

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The lockdown ease from Sturgeon comes as pubs and restaurants across England have already thrown open their doors to punters as Britons spilled out onto the streets for a long-awaited drink on Monday.

Jubilant scenes from across the country were captured as hospitality resumed in England after months of lockdown.

But Scots will have to wait until April 20th to hear when pubs, cafes and restaurants will re-open north of the border.

April 26 has been earmarked for the long-awaited reopening of the hospitality industry in Scotland but this is not guaranteed.

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