Restrictions Ease Across Scotland

On Tuesday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced further easing of the current restrictions on travel throughout the country.  

From tomorrow, Friday 16 April, travel within Scotland for outdoor socialising, recreation and exercise will be allowed.  The relaxation of restrictions means that any outdoor attractions that are already open will be able to welcome visitors from across Scotland, with all relevant mitigations in place. 

Data permitting, the whole of Scotland, including all of our island communities, will be in Level 3 from Monday 26 April.  This means that non-essential travel between the mainland and islands, as well as between Scotland, England and Wales will be permitted, re-opening a much larger market for our sector. 

Indoor attractions now have a much firmer assertion that they can open again on, or from, 26 April.  It has also been confirmed that tourist accommodation can open from this date.

Another important change to the rules which comes into effect tomorrow is that outdoor meetings in groups of up to six adults from up to six households will be allowed, with under-12s not counting towards this limit. 

In her announcement, the First Minister advised that the easing of restrictions has been brought forward as a result of significant progress in reducing the number of new COVID cases in Scotland, partly due to the success of the vaccination programme, but also because so many people have stuck so well to the rules.  Daily cases are at the lowest level since September and have declined more than 85% since early January.  Ms Sturgeon urged caution, as restrictions are relaxed, to protect against resurgence of COVID-19, advising that people should take care to plan ahead with journeys and follow the FACTS advice when out and about.

Whilst ASVA welcomed news of the easing of restrictions and the impact this will have on our sector, we remain very concerned about the effect of 2 metre physical distancing at attractions.  A requirement of 2m distancing will make it impossible for many attractions to open viably on 26 April so we are continuing to lobby the Scottish Government on this key issue. Further details on our efforts to get distancing restrictions reduced can be found below, in the article ‘Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group discusses distancing’.  

To read the First Minister’s full statement on the easing of restrictions, click here.

The updated Strategic Framework Protection Level tables showing the route map for future easing of restrictions can be viewed at this link.