Scotland to reopen non-essential retail from 26 April

Nicola Sturgeon has announced plans to ease lockdown restrictions

First minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that non-essential retailers in Scotland will be able to reopen from 26 April. 

Sturgeon outlined the country’s exit out of lockdown restrictions yesterday (23 February), giving businesses a timeframe of when they can expect to reopen.

Scotland’s stay-at-home order is likely to remain in place until 5 April, but schools are set to reopen for students from 15 March.

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Speaking to the Scottish parliament, Sturgeon said that “if everything goes to plan” the country will move back to the levels system of Covid-19 restrictions from the last week of April, with all council areas moving to Level 3.

This will include a “phased but significant reopening of the economy, including non-essential retail, hospitality and services like gyms and hairdressers”, according to Sturgeon.

David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “Retailers have been eagerly awaiting an indication as to when they might be able to re-open and the First Minister’s provisional timeframe does provide a sense of when that might be possible, albeit it is still over two months away. 

“Scottish Ministers are clearly proceeding with an abundance of caution, and the decision from early April to scrap curbs on click and collect and expand the definition of essential retail are encouraging. Hopefully, this will see garden centres and homeware stores readmitted to the list of essential stores.”

He added: “These moves are a welcome vote of confidence in the retail industry’s ability to re-open safely. Now that we have a sense as to when shops may be able to re-open, retailers can turn their attention to communicating with their workforces, suppliers, and customers, and start to plan for getting back to doing what they do best; serving their customers.”


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