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Rules ease from next week but can be reversed, Nicola Sturgeon warns

SCOTLAND will began easing its lockdown from next week, Nicola Sturgeon announced yesterday.

The first minister revealed her four-point plan ‘back to some normality’ — but warned stricter measures may be put in place if progress falters.

Scots will be able to meet people from one other household, sunbathe and take part in some non-contact sports from the end of next week.

All schools will reopen on August 11, but use a part-time model.

Cautioning that the dates are not set in stone, Ms Sturgeon (pictured) said: ‘I cannot stand here and rule out to the people of Scotland that at some point over the next few months we might have to go back, because this virus is unpredictable. If we move too quickly or without proper care, it could run out of control again.’

She told Holyrood the first phase could begin on Thursday, with drive-through food outlets and garden centres gradually reopening.

The second phase could allow people to meet larger groups outside, and some people indoors, with pubs opening beer gardens.

By phase three, things will ‘feel closer to normal’, with retail services opening.

When the virus ‘is no longer a significant threat’, the final phase will see mass gatherings resume and schools and offices open. Ms Sturgeon said: ‘This route map sketches out how we might move back to some normality.’ But she conceded there ‘is no completely risk-free way of lifting lockdown’. Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard backed a phased approach, but stressed: ‘It needs to follow the science.’

But Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw said using a phased plan risks becoming ‘overly complicated’.

As of yesterday, 2,221 coronavirus patients in Scotland have died, up by 37 from Wednesday.