Up to four adults from two different households are now able to meet outside in Scotland, as lockdown easing plans begin.
Young people aged between 12-17 will be allowed to meet with four people in the same age group all from different households.
Outdoor non-contact group sports for adults have also restarted.
First minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the plans are to go ahead as she told the Scottish Parliament the continued fall in coronavirus cases is giving grounds for “cautious optimism”.
The government’s previous plan for easing lockdown said that allowing four people from two households to meet outdoors was unlikely to happen before March 15.
From 12 March, we're gradually easing Level 4 restrictions.
Up to four adults from two households will be able to meet outdoors, including in private gardens.
Please stay as close to home as possible.
— Scottish Government (@scotgov) March 11, 2021
People are allowed to meet in private gardens, but are only to go into someone else’s home if it is essential to reach a garden, or if they need to use the toilet.
The stay at home rule largely remains in place, except for essential purposes.
Ms Sturgeon said there was a clear “positive trend” in figures, alongside “excellent progress with the vaccination programme”.
Although the number of vaccines being administered in Scotland each day has has fallen recently, the first minister said supplies would increase to “allow for a very significant acceleration” of the programme from mid-March.
Meanwhile, the proposed opening of schools from Monday, March 15, will go ahead, Ms Sturgeon confirmed at FMQs.
Secondary pupils will return on a part-time basis to begin with.
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