BEER gardens are due to reopen on July 6, Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed, while Scots will be able to escape to self-catering holiday homes and caravans from July 3.

The First Minister revealed the current five-mile travel limit for leisure and recreation will be lifted on July 3 as she announced further milestones in exiting the coronavirus lockdown.

More households will be able to meet up outside from July 10, when Scots will also be able to meet indoors with up to two other households.

Hairdressers, barbers, childcare facilities, cinemas, museums, galleries and libraries can all reopen on July 15.

Pubs and restaurants will also be able to reopen indoor areas from this date, subject to conditions, but theatres, nightclubs and live venues will remain closed.

All holiday accommodation will be permitted to reopen on July 15.

However Ms Sturgeon said "self-contained" accommodation, such as cottages, lodges and caravans, can reopen earlier, on July 3.

She previously announced most on-street shops can reopen from Monday, June 29, alongside garden attractions, zoos, outdoor markets, playgrounds and outdoor sports courts.

But the two-metre distancing rule will remain in place for now, she said, sparking disappointment from some business leaders.

Advisors are looking at whether this can be eased.

Ms Sturgeon said pubs, restaurants and other hospitality businesses will be required to take the names and contact details of customers and store these for four weeks, to help with contact tracing.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the Scottish Beer and Pub Association, welcomed the latest announcement.

But she said: "There are still major challenges; the two metre physical distance presents a major obstacle in reopening with nine out of ten premises saying it is financially unviable and could risk as many as 23,600 jobs as a result."

Marc Crothall, the chief executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA), said the news will bring "great comfort" to business owners.

He added: "This unlocks major components of our tourism sector and offers Scots the opportunity to plan summer experiences closer to home and boost our local economies.

"We are also delighted at the announcement that all accommodation and indoor hospitality can open from July 15, subject to guidance and restrictions, and that our museums and monuments can also reopen from this date."

Fiona Campbell, chief executive of the Association of Scottish Self Caterers (ASSC), said she was "delighted".

She said: "Scotland's self-caterers were among the first to close our businesses as we entered lockdown, at great personal and financial cost, and now we're poised to be among the first to help the Scottish tourist economy stand back up on its own two feet."

Ms Sturgeon's announcement came as Scotland recorded its lowest weekly number of coronavirus deaths since lockdown began in March.

The National Records of Scotland said the infection has been implicated in 4,119 deaths by June 21, an increase of 49 on the previous week’s running total.

It was the lowest weekly increase in the total since the first deaths were seen in mid-March, when 10 lives were lost.

The number of weekly deaths has now fallen for eight consecutive weeks.

However for the second week, the total number of deaths of females exceeded those for males, reversing a clear trend seen for most of the pandemic.

By June 21, 2068 coronavirus deaths were of females and 2015 were of males.

Elsewhere, Ms Sturgeon told MSPs that shopping centres are due to reopen on July 13.

Organised outdoor contact sport can also resume for children and young people on this date, and dentists can reopen for most routine care.

People who are shielding will get further advice before the end of July.

Ms Sturgeon said there had been "real and sustained progress" in the fight against coronavirus.

However she stressed: "The virus has not gone away, and it will not go away of its own accord."

She said the changes remain contingent on scientific and public health advice.

The First Minister said "blended learning" at schools - a mixture of in-class and at-home learning - is a "necessary contingency", but ministers are now planning for a full-time return for pupils on August 11.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a shift to a "one-metre plus" distancing rule in England, with hairdressers, pubs, restaurants and hotels allowed to reopen from July 4.

Ms Sturgeon said while the pace of easing lockdown in Scotland is "slower than England's", it is "right for our circumstances and, I hope, more likely to be sustainable than if we went faster".

She said: "Our challenge - not an easy one - is to manage all of this change while keeping the virus firmly under control.

"If at any stage there appears to be a risk of its resurgence, our path out of lockdown will be halted and we may even have to go backwards.

"To avoid that, we must get as close as possible to elimination of the virus now and build confidence in our ability to control it in future through surveillance, testing, contact tracing and, where necessary, targeted suppression measures."

Ms Sturgeon later clashed with Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw at First Minister's Questions, accusing him of “grubby political opportunism” for his attacks on the Scottish Government’s coronavirus plans for schools.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Carlaw said: “The only certainty Nicola Sturgeon delivered today was that our vital tourism and hospitality sector is being hit with a two-week lag.

"That will cost millions at a time when thousands of jobs are already on the line.

“All over the UK people who would have holidayed in Scotland in that crucial fortnight will instead be taking their business elsewhere on these islands.

"On the one hand, Nicola Sturgeon says she’s been successful in cutting the spread of the virus more quickly than they expected.

"On the other, she is sticking to a timetable to keep Scotland's tourist trade closed for business.

“Every day counts for the Scottish hospitality trade at this time of year - and the SNP's inflexible approach isn't helping them.

"This go-slow approach from the First Minister shows she doesn’t understand the economy and the dire consequences of these delays.

“Perhaps if the SNP had got its head around testing sooner, lockdown could have been lifted more quickly.

“Instead, Scotland has to look on while the rest of the UK and Europe resumes normal life.”