Nicola Sturgeon announced beer gardens and outdoor cafes can reopen from Monday in Scotland while maintaining two metre social distancing, and people can drive further than five miles. But she insisted Annan, Gretna, Dumfries, Lockerbie, Canonbie and Langholm must continue to observe the five-mile lockdown restrictions until the cross-border coronavirus cluster is contained. Her comments come ahead of England reopening pubs on Saturday.
Speaking at the daily briefing, Ms Sturgeon said: “The advice and guidance to people in the areas of Annan, Gretna, Dumfries, Lockerbie, Canonbie and Langholm is to continue to follow the five mile travel restriction over the weekend until the testing and contact tracing process has been completed and we are able to assess whether the outbreak has been contained.
“We will publish the particular postcodes this guidance applies to on social media later and we will provide further updates on Monday.
“If you have plans to travel into these areas over the weekend, you should follow the travel advice while you’re there.”
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She added: “The five mile limit means you should not travel to pubs south of the border over this weekend.
“I know this will not be welcome news for people in those areas and I am genuinely sorry about that.”
Twitter erupted as Scottish residents condemned the move.
One Twitter user wrote: “Sturgeon is effectively trying to ban you from England.”
Another added: “Are people really still going to believe what Nicola Sturgeon is saying? There just happens to be a slight spike near the borders? Discouraging people from travelling to and from Scotland and discouraging people from going to England where the pubs are open this weekend.”
A third person wrote: “Nicola Sturgeon says Boris is moving too quick with England reopening only for a week or so later to do the exact same things but open them two days after England?”
Ms Sturgeon added that the Scottish Government had been considering the issue of face coverings – which are already mandatory on public transport – “for some time now”.
She said: “I can confirm today that from the expected start of phase three, which is July 10 next week, wearing face coverings will also be mandatory in shops.”
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Children under five will be exempt from this rule, she added, along with those with certain medical conditions.
But she said: “For everyone else face coverings will be mandatory.”
The First Minister added: “This is not a decision we have taken lightly, it has taken us some time to reach this decision.
“But as we all start to interact more, it is vital we take all reasonable steps to reduce risk and we know that face coverings can help reduce the risk of transmission indoors.”