By Democrat reporter

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced the next stage of the easing of a number of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

The announcement includes:

–              The mandatory wearing of face coverings in all shops from Friday 10 July.

–              A household can meet up with two other households, up to 8 people, inside, including overnight stays, from Friday 10 July.

–              Non-essential shops that are located within shopping centres can reopen from Monday 13 July.

–              All places of worship can reopen on Wednesday 15 July.

–              Museums, galleries and cinemas can reopen on Wednesday 15 July.

–              Indoor hospitality business can open indoors on Wednesday 15 July.

–              Universities and colleges will have a phased return to campus starting on Wednesday 22 July.

–              Beauty salons can reopen on Wednesday 22 July.

Jackie Baillie MSP has repeatedly called for the public to continue to follow all social distancing measures in order to avoid a second wave of coronavirus.

She has also urged the Scottish Government to ensure that all businesses and employees who are not able to return to work are given long term support to avoid the permanent closure of businesses and wide scale unemployment.

Jackie Baillie MSP said: “I am sure that the changes to lockdown that the First Minister announced will come as very welcome news to many people.

“Families who have been unable to be together for months will finally be able to meet inside and many people will be able to return to church and other places of worship.

“These changes were only made possible because the infection rate has reduced in Scotland.

“The infection rate has reduced because the public have followed social distancing measures effectively. It is vital that we all continue to do this – if not, the current changes to restrictions will be reversed.

“I have urged the Scottish Government to bring a sharper focus to the businesses and workers who are yet unable to return to normal.

“For many businesses, the restrictions that are still in place, and the economic crisis of Covid-19, will mean they will struggle to reopen and recover.

“They need long term financial support in order to avoid closures and job losses.”

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