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Live Reporting

BBC Scotland News

All times stated are UK

  1. That's it for tonight

    Today we were given the first detailed indication of how Scotland may move out of lockdown:

    • It will be a four phase process, with the first likely to begin from Thursday 28 May.
    • In Phase 1 you will be able to meet up with another household outoors while maintaining social distancing.
    • Staff will return to schools next month, but pupils won't be back until 11 August with some degree of home learning still continuing.
    • Sports like golf, tennis, kayaking and angling will be permitted during the first phase.
    • Garden centres and drive through restaurants will also reopen.
    • Some outdoor work will resume and childminding services can begin again.

    The situation will be reviewed every three weeks and the government has cautioned it may take months or longer before we can move into Phase 4, when mass gatherings and normal school interaction will be possible.

    In other news, the Scottish Conservatives have called for the resignation of Health Secretary Jeane Freeman after it emerged that far more elderly people were released from hospital into care homes to clear beds, than she previously said. On Reporting Scotland Nicola Sturgeon rejected the call.

    We'll be back early tomorrow with more live updates of the latest developments. Don't forget the weekly Clap for Carers event.

  2. Nicola Sturgeon rejects call for health secretary's resignation

    Reporting Scotland

    Jeane Freeman

    The Scottish Conservatives have demanded the resignation of Jeane Freeman after it emerged far more elderly people were discharged from hospitals without testing than was first revealed.

    In mid-April Ms Freeman said about 900 "delayed discharge" patients had left hospital, primarily to return to their own home.

    But the Scottish government now admits this was the figure released to care homes - and another 1,500 were released to their own homes.

    The Scottish Tory health spokesman Miles Briggs said the health secretary had lost the confidence of the public.

    But the first minister rejected the call, saying Ms Freeman has her "absolute confidence".

    "I believe she should and does have the confidence of the public. She has been literally for three months working round the clock to make sure this crisis is managed in the best way possible," she told Reporting Scotland.

  3. Outdoor meetings with family should be possible

    Reporting Scotland

    Lockdown notice

    The first minister was asked for more detail on how the guidance on meeting other households would work, and how many households they could see - at a distance - outside.

    She asked people to "use their judgement" on who they meet after the rules are relaxed.

    She stressed that people should continue to stay near their homes to avoid places like beaches and beauty spots becoming overcrowded.

    But Ms Sturgeon said their would be more flexibility for people travelling further to see family - for instance "to see your elderly mother" in her garden.

  4. First minister explains why easing is at least a week away

    Reporting Scotland

    Nicola Sturgeon

    Appearing on Reporting Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon was asked why the lockdown could not be relaxed right away.

    She said that "it's important we are really confident" the virus is in decline.

    The first minister added that we also need to have the test, trace and isolate programme in place, which it will be from the start of next month.

  5. Thousands of households 'stuck in limbo'

    incomplete housing

    The trade body for Scotland's housebuilders has said that 6,000 households are "stuck in limbo", despite plans to ease restrictions on the construction industry as part of a phased return to work.

    Homes for Scotland chief executive Nicola Barclay was responding to the announcement by the Scottish government which referred to “planning for the construction sector to implement the first two phases in its restart plan”.

    Ms Barclay said: "The biggest question still remains in relation to the 6,000 households currently waiting to move into what are largely complete homes requiring only internal finishing touches that can be easily and safely undertaken.

    "There is absolutely no mention of how or when they can be completed.

    "With all these customers still stuck in limbo, they have been given no indication today of when they can move on with their lives and government needs to urgently provide further clarity on this."

  6. What can I do - and when?

    Drive through

    The Scottish government has set out a four-phase plan for relaxing the lockdown restrictions and restarting the economy.

    Phase 1 could start in a week's time, on 28 May, if the R-number and new infections remain low. Here's a rough guide of how we'll come out of lockdown:

    Phase 1 - You should be able to meet another household outside in small numbers. Sunbathing is allowed, along with some outdoor activities like golf and fishing. Garden centres and drive-through takeaways can reopen, some outdoor work can resume, and childminding services can begin.

    Phase 2 - You can meet larger groups outdoors, and meet another household indoors. Construction, factories, warehouses, laboratories and small shops can resume work. Playgrounds and sports courts can reopen, and professional sport can begin again.

    Phase 3 - You can meet people from more than one household indoors. Non-essential offices would reopen, along with gyms, museums, libraries, cinemas, larger shops, pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and dentists. Live events could take place with restricted numbers and physical distancing restrictions. Schools should reopen from 11 August.

    Phase 4 - University and college campuses can reopen in full, mass gatherings are allowed. All workplaces open and public transport is back at full capacity.

    For a more detailed rundown of how it will work, click here.

  7. First minister to speak about lockdown easing

    Reporting Scotland

    Coming up on Reporting Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon explains the thinking behind her plan to ease Scotland out of lockdown.

    Starts on BBC One Scotland shortly.

    Nicola Sturgeon
  8. UK Hospitality estimates up to 100,000 job losses

    Drivetime with John Beattie

    BBC Radio Scotland

    Willie MacLeod of UK Hospitality warns of between 70,000 to 100,000 job losses in the sector by the end of the pandemic.

    If accommodation and hotels cannot open until the middle of July, this will be bad for tourism in Scotland he tells Drivetime.

    He says redundancies are already being made because businesses cannot sustain the level of cash burn they are taking at the moment. He says hotels are "burning" an average £60,000 a month to stay afloat.

  9. Farmers may look at 'cohorts' for fruit pickers

    Drivetime with John Beattie

    BBC Radio Scotland

    Fruit picker

    NFU Scotland president Andrew McCornick explains for many farmers and crofters, the lockdown has not been as onerous as for other sectors due to the need to provide food.

    But he welcomes the reopening of recycling centres as fly tipping is especially common on agricultural land.

    The farming union is also working with the Scottish government on how it will go about recruiting staff for the picking season, with the option of cohorts who share accommodation and work spaces being considered.

  10. FSB: Firms need guidance to unlock economy and save jobs

    Social distancing marker

    The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has welcomed the news that some businesses could return to trading from next Thursday if they make adequate provisions to protect workers and customers.

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has unveiled a four-phase "route map" aimed at restarting society while suppressing the virus.

    The FSB is calling on the Scottish government to urgently provide clear, realistic guidance to all businesses about the steps they should take before re-opening.

    Andrew McRae, FSB’s Scotland policy chairman, said at the moment there’s little guidance for firms in Scotland regarding what alterations might be required.

    “While the first minister said today that this guidance is coming in the days ahead, there is no time to lose."

    “While we recognise that this is a public health crisis, it is also an economic crisis."

  11. Up to whole of society to adapt to change in schooling - Swinney

    Drivetime with John Beattie

    BBC Radio Scotland

    Education Secretary John Swinney continued to answer listeners' questions on Drivetime:

    Q: Is it the teachers' responsibility to keep the children two metres apart?

    A: It is part of the whole approach of the school environment to make sure young people are exercising physical distancing. That is much more challenging among the youngest of pupils. Models are going to have to use outdoor space a great deal more or operate in smaller numbers.

    Q: How can someone work full-time if their child or children are at school part-time?

    A: Our society is going to have to adapt as a whole - not just the schools - to the presence of coronavirus. So the first minister in parliament today talked about the possibility of employers arranging shorter working weeks, perhaps four rather than five days. It might involve more home working.

    Q: Does this put the onus on parents and employers to reach arrangements that allow for schooling?

    A: We put this in our route map about working or running a business and some of the arrangements around remote working that we would want to be encouraging. The school system is not the only bit of society that has to adapt.

  12. NHS fees to be scrapped for overseas health staff and care workers


    NHS staff and care workers from overseas are to be exempt from paying a surcharge to use the health service after mounting pressure from MPs.

    Boris Johnson's spokesman said the PM had asked the Home Office and Department for Health to exempt NHS and care workers "as soon as possible".

    Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said it was "a victory for common decency", while SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford welcomed what he called a "U-turn on this cruel Tory policy".

    The health immigration surcharge on non-EU migrants is £400 per year and set to rise to £624 in October.

    Asked by the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg whether the prime minister "changed his mind" when he decided to waive the NHS usage fees, Matt Hancock says Boris Johnson has himself "been a beneficiary" of workers from abroad.

  13. At a glance: the phases of lifting lockdown

    Routemap document

    The Scottish government has set out its four-phase routemap for reopening. Here is a brief summary of what the points are:

    Lockdown – Stay at home except for exercise, medicine and essential work

    Phase 1 – Virus not yet contained but cases falling. Start of easing from 28 May allowing some meeting outdoors.

    Phase 2 – Virus controlled. Construction, factories, warehouses, laboratories, and small shops start to resume work. Professional sport can begin again.

    Phase 3 – Virus suppressed. Schools should reopen from 11 August. Non-essential offices, gyms, museums, libraries and cinemas can open along with some live events. Larger shops, pubs, restuarants, hairdressers and dentists reopen.

    Phase 4 – Virus no longer ‘significant threat’. University and college campuses reopen in full, mass gatherings allowed. All workplaces open and public transport is back at full capacity.

  14. Will returning to school in August be mandatory?

    Drivetime with John Beattie

    BBC Radio Scotland

    Education Secretary John Swinney has been answering questions from the listeners.

    Q: What if I have two children and one is at school and the other at home, how do I go back to work?

    A: What we've injected into the framework we've publlished today is sufficient local flexibility for schools and local authorities on how scenarios like that can be addressed to ensure that young people can get access to learning and families can get the opp to get back to work. There's a lot of school and parental dialogue that goes on on a constant basis.

    Q: When we went into lockdown, we were told that many classes had two or three people in them as parents kept their kids off school. When children go back, will that be mandatory?

    A: Yes, it is.

    Q: Will this be an exam year, or will grades be awarded as it has been this year?

    A: That's a difficult question to answer at this stage. The document published today makes clear that the exam diet for 2020-21 is being prepared as we speak. But what I don't know at this stage is how much of the educational year is going to be disrupted by this blended model. We'll set out a clear position on that when it is available.

  15. Move to ease business restrictions 'helpful start'

    Builders after lockdown announced

    Scottish business leaders have described plans to ease restrictions on garden centres as well as the agriculture, forestry and construction sectors as a "helpful start", after Nicola Sturgeon unveiled her route map for easing lockdown.

    Welcoming the move, Scottish Chambers of Commerce chief executive Liz Cameron called for the publication of "detailed sectoral guidelines" to be accelerated to help businesses prepare for a restart.

    CBI Scotland director Tracy Black said the Scottish government's four-phase plan provided a "helpful starting point for firms preparing for the restart and those already working hard to ensure their operations are as safe as possible for staff and customers".

    Malcolm Cannon, head of the Institute of Directors Scotland, said his organisation was "encouraged" by the proposed easing of restrictions.

    The Federation of Small Businesses in Scotland also welcomed the easing of some restrictions, but called on ministers to provide "as a matter of urgency, clear, realistic guidance to all businesses about the steps they should take before reopening".

  16. Blended learning a challenge for parents Swinney admits

    Drivetime with John Beattie

    BBC Radio Scotland

    Class sizes may have to be limited to allow for social distancing
    Image caption: Class sizes may have to be limited to allow for social distancing

    The "whole of Scottish society is going to have to work collaboratively" to ensure the education system works while "wrestling with coronavirus for some time to come".

    So Education Secretary John Swinney tells BBC Radio Scotland as he explains the combination of learning in school and learning at home that will be required when pupils return to school on 11 August.

    Insisting that the plan is "thought through and inevitable", he gives the example of a school in Glasgow with 2000 pupils and 200 staff and stresses that the government could not allow that many people in the school at the one time.

    "It would be impossible to deliver physical distancing, which will still be required when schools return on 11 August," Mr Swinney states. "I appreciate that throws up challenges for parents because it isn't the full-time learning model they have been accustomed to and will be reflected in their working patterns"

  17. Daily coronavirus death figures for the UK

    Daily coronavirus death figures for the UK

    Here's the UK government graph showing the daily number of confirmed deaths among people who have tested positive for Covid-19.

  18. Hospital kitchen staff test positive for coronavirus

    University Hospital Wishaw

    Staff working in the kitchens of a Lanarkshire general hospital have tested positive for coronavirus.

    It has been reported that several workers at University Hospital Wishaw are confirmed to have the virus and several more have been tested.

    NHS Lanarkshire said that all appropriate infection prevention and control measures had been taken.

    A spokeswoman for the health board told the BBC: "We wouldn't comment on the number of staff due to confidentiality.

    "A small number of staff are self-isolating at home as per national guidelines."

  19. Blended learning biggest curriculum challenge in 30 years

    Drivetime with John Beattie

    BBC Radio Scotland

    Social distanced queue into classroom

    Blended learning will be the biggest curriculum challenge in the last 30 years, the EIS teaching union has said.

    General secretary Larry Flanagan said the shift would require a "huge effort" from all those involved in education.

    Education Scotland will need to play a big part in providing the remote offer and the Scottish government must provide advice on what the curriculum should focus on, he said.

    The EIS has been taking part in the government's education recovery group which has today published a strategic framework for the return of schools.

    Mr Flanagan welcomed the August target date for schools reopening, which he said would reassure members on safety.

    He also said PPE should be available in schools but it is not anticipated it will be routinely required in classrooms.