Ruth Maguire MSP has thanked local residents for their patience as Scotland will begin to ease into Phase 2 of its exit from lockdown from tomorrow the First Minister has announced.

As of today, people who have been shielding from the virus since lockdown was introduced will now be able to leave their homes for exercise.

The next phase of lifting lockdown restrictions will begin on 19 June as those who have been asked to shield will also be allowed to participate in outdoor sporting activities and meet with one other household outdoors.

People who are not shielding will be allowed to meet outdoors with two households in groups of no more than eight people. Additionally, it will now be permitted to go indoors to use toilets while following hygiene guidelines.

Additional guidelines will be lifted from 22 June which will allow places of worship to reopen for individual prayer and dental practices to resume seeing patients for urgent care needs.

Further relaxations will come into effect from 29 June, indoor non-office workplaces such as warehouses and factories will be allowed to reopen once required guidance is implemented. Playgrounds, outdoor markets and street access retail outlets can also reopen from this date.

The SNP MSP said: “The gradual introduction of Phase Two will continue to ensure that we don’t come out of lockdown too quickly and unnecessarily risk lives. Protecting lives and easing pressure on the NHS must always remain the priority throughout this process.

“The relaxation of measures which will allow people who have been shielding to meet with family and friends will be a much needed boost to those who had been forced to isolate themselves for such a long time.

“I’d like to once again thank North Ayrshire residents for persevering with the measures put in place as we all wish to return to a sense of normality in our daily lives as soon as possible.

“We must continue to be vigilant, and remember that our actions during lockdown can still impact on others in our community.”

Phase 2 Update

Phase 2 Guidance

Further guidance will be published before the current shielding period is due to end on 31 July.