Scotland Covid rules: Indoor visits and hugging allowed from Monday

Last updated at 12:23
Girl hugs grandfather.Getty Images

People can hug friends and family from next week in Scotland after coronavirus rules were relaxed.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also announced that people will be able to meet in each other's homes again from Monday 17 May.

"I actually feel a wee bit emotional saying this... from Monday, as long as you stay within permitted limits, you can hug your loved ones again," she said.

The easing of rules will apply for most of the country, although it seems likely that Moray in the north-east of the country will remain under the existing restrictions after a surge in cases there.

Scotland has five levels of Covid restrictions, which range from full lockdown down to level zero - which is close to a return to normality.

The country moved down from level four to level three on 26 April, which enabled the reopening of cafes, pubs and restaurants, gyms, and the remaining non-essential shops.

The First Minister said most of mainland Scotland will now move to level two restrictions from 17 May.

Several islands will move to level one restrictions on the same date, with the exception of Skye which will move to level two.

Nicola SturgeonPA Media

Under the level two restrictions up to six people from three households will be able to meet in their homes, and can also stay overnight.

Ms Sturgeon said it was "vital to be cautious", and that the possibility of dropping social distancing in all situations would be reviewed in the coming weeks.

Cinemas, bingo halls and amusement arcades are also likely to be able to reopen, and outdoor and indoor events like concerts can restart - although capacity may initially be limited.

The changes will also allow pubs and restaurants to sell alcohol indoors.

A traffic light system for the level of coronavirus risk in different countries will be introduced for international travel from Monday.

The list of 12 'green countries' which people can travel to without having to quarantine when they get back will be the same as England has.

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