As of today, 17 May, we see the easing of lockdown rules here in Scotland and the rest of the UK.
We have been couped up in our houses and ‘bubbles’ on and off for the last 14 months, and to say it has been a ‘difficult time’ would be an understatement.
And it has affected us all. A report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that older people’s main concerns included accessing their basic needs such as medical care and food shopping; often as a result of having to shield completely.
Younger people’s concerns were more centred around their education and the absence of exams, their work, and their relationships. The ONS found that younger people are less likely to live with their boyfriend or girlfriend, so this has been a particular strain on younger people and how they connect to the people they love.
Here at Stonehouse estate agents, we have seen how lockdown has impacted people of all age groups, from students to retirees, and we know how much it will mean to be able to socialise more, and to be able to connect (even hug!) those nearest and dearest.
We asked our staff what they were looking forward to doing the most now that the Level-2 has arrived:
“I actually haven’t given ‘going out’ much thought. But the first place that comes to mind is Soul. The bar has a great atmosphere, and it’s in a reformed church so it has heaps of character”.
“I’m most looking forward my running club getting started up again. I’ve really missed feeling like I’m a part of something during lockdown, and I’ll be able to catch up with my friends while exercising again”.
So, what exactly can we look forward to as of today under the new Level 2 banding?
- You can socialise indoors with up to 6 people from 3 different households in a private home or garden without physically distancing.
- You can meet 6 people from 3 households inside a hospitality venue, and 8 people from 8 households can meet outdoors.
- You can enjoy a drink inside a pub when you book a 2-hour slot, and this will be until 10:30pm.
- Other venues that will reopen include cinemas, theatres, concert halls, music venues, comedy clubs, amusement arcades, casinos, snooker halls and bingo halls.
- Indoor and outdoor events will resume but are subject to capacity limits of 100 indoors and 500 outdoors.
- Universities and schools will be able to return to a more traditional learning environment.
Please remember that not all of Scotland falls under Level 2 rules. The areas that are not subject to Level 2 are:
- Glasgow and Moray. These areas currently remain at Level 3 due to a spike in virus outbreaks.
- Many of the island communities will fall under Level 1 restrictions – but not all, so please check which rules apply to you.
If the area you live in falls under Level 2 rules, then we hope you enjoy this new-found freedom as much as you can. While we must remain alert, responsible, and act with caution, we are certainly welcoming of the fact we can do a little more with the people we love and care about, and that Scotland is able to resemble something a little more ‘normal’ (whatever that might be!).
For more information about which Tier your area falls under, and which restrictions apply – please take a moment to read the rules on what you are and aren’t allowed to do.