03:26 GMT24 September 2020
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    As the UK begins to ease its lockdown restrictions, the Scottish government has cautiously followed England's example. But as scenes from London and elsewhere show limited adherence to social distancing measures, Scotland appears increasingly reticent to follow suit.

    Beer gardens and outdoor cafes will be open from Monday, as Scotland begins to loosen its 15-week lockdown of all non-essential workplaces.

    However, eager customers are being cautioned that the experience will not be quite the same as it was prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

    Alongside strict hygiene rules, visitors to outdoor establishments will have to provide their name and contact number upon entry as well as logging the date and time of their visit in an effort to maintain a system of track and trace.

    ​During a visit to the Cold Town House roof terrace in Edinburgh, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon admitted she was nervous about ending lockdown restrictions amid the ongoing pandemic.

    ​“I hope that as we take these first gradual steps out of lockdown people will begin to feel more of the sense of normality that we have worked so hard for - although it is important to remember that the virus has not gone away so we cannot get complacent", Sturgeon said.

    Stephen Montgomery, President of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, said he welcomes the reopening of the sector, beginning with beer gardens.

    “We understand that there will be changes in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 which we are sure customers will understand".
    “We would encourage customers to keep to physical distancing measures and work with premises to ensure public health is maintained, including providing staff with contact details to support Test and Protect", he added.

    Pubs and restaurants in Scotland are poised to reopen fully on 15 July.

    The move comes as England reopened its drinking establishments on 4 July, which saw crowds of people rush for their first served-drink since the introduction of lockdown measures in March.

    ​On the day that Scotland begins to open its outside pubs and bars, one of the Scottish Government’s chief medical advisers said that he is worried by the images showing customers “spilling out into the street” over the weekend.

    Speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland, Professor Jason Leitch said that he was comfortable so long as the “regulated environment” of providing details upon entry is adhered to.

    Of the 285,000 people confirmed to have contracted the virus in the UK, 18,287 are in Scotland. Despite going days without any COVID-19 deaths, 2,488 overall are known to have died from the disease in Scotland.

    Tags:
    England, Nicola Sturgeon, coronavirus, COVID-19, lockdown
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