The whole of Scotland will move to Level 0 on 19 July if all necessary vaccination and harm reduction measures are met.
Current levels will remain in place for the next three weeks with a review taking place on 13 July although some changes, such as minor relaxations to rules on events such as weddings and funerals will come into place on 28 June.
During a statement to Parliament, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also confirmed that from 19 July physical distancing outdoors will be removed and physical distancing for indoor public areas will reduce to one metre if the data allows. Limits on outdoor gatherings will also be removed on this date given the reduced risk of outdoor transmission at this stage in the vaccination programme.
If the necessary conditions on vaccination and harm reduction continue to be met, all major remaining COVID restrictions will be lifted on 9 August.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“From 19 July, and then more substantially, from 9 August – assuming we are meeting our revised strategic aim of alleviating the harm of the virus – life should feel much less restricted for all of us.
“A very significant degree of normality will be restored – for individuals and for businesses. As I said earlier, these are indicative dates, but they allow us to plan ahead with more clarity. As always, we all have a part to play in keeping us on track.
“Up until now, the Scottish Government’s strategic intention has been to ‘suppress the virus to the lowest possible level and keep it there’. From now, our aim will be to ‘suppress the virus to a level consistent with alleviating its harms while we recover and rebuild for a better future’.
“This change reflects the fact that vaccination is reducing – we hope significantly – the harm that the virus causes.
“Physical distancing has been an important mitigation against the virus but it is also burdensome for individuals and costly for businesses. So as vaccinations bear more of the load of controlling the virus, we need to consider when and to what extent we can reduce the legal requirement for it.
“Ultimately we hope to remove the legal requirement for physical distancing – even though we may continue to advise people to think about safe distancing when interacting with people outside their close contact groups.”