GYMS, swimming pools, arts venues and sports stadiums have been given indicative dates for re-opening amid the Covid-19 crisis. 

Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that Scotland will remain in phase three of the Scottish Government's four-step routmap in lifting the lockdown. 

Many businesses will not be able to re-open for several more weeks as to not put the re-opening of schools at risk.

The First Minister said she hoped that from August 24, live events such as concerts and comedy will be allowed outdoors – with physical distancing and enhanced hygiene in place, as well as restricted audience numbers. 

On the same date it is hoped organised outdoor contact sports will resume for people of all ages. 

Some indoor facilities, such as bingo halls and similar venues, could also open again on August 24, as well as funfairs and the resumption of driving lessons. 

But Ms Sturgeon warned that “we don’t currently expect to implement any other changes before September 11.” 

She stressed that non-essential offices should remain closed until at least September 14 – and possibly later. 

She added: “Even then, working from home and working flexibly will remain the default position. 

“I know many office workers may miss seeing colleagues – although some may not – but by staying at home, office workers and employers are playing a vital role in helping suppress the virus and ensuring our transport network remains safe. 

“We hope that further changes will be possible from Monday 14 September.” 

The First Minister announced that sports stadiums could re-open from September 14 “for limited numbers of spectators, with physical distancing in place”. 

She added: “Some professional sports events may be arranged for spectators before then – with Scottish Government agreement – to test the safety of any new arrangements. ” 

In addition it is hoped indoor sports courts will be able to reopen from the same date, with physical distancing. 

The Scottish Government also intends for soft play facilities to resume from September 14. 

The First Minister announced the same indicative date for re-opening for gyms and swimming pools – although she stressed these places posed a “particular risk and require a cautious approach”. 

She said the situation would be reviewed again in three weeks’ time “and if it is judged reasonable to do so, we will seek to accelerate this to the end of August”. 

But business leaders have warned that traders that will not be able to re-open for several weeks will see their livelihoods "take a greater hit".

Andrew McRae, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Scotland policy chair, said: “The First Minister has identified the right national priority. Getting schools up and running full-time will not only benefit young people, it’ll provide much needed relief to working parents and a boost to local economies.

“But we cannot forget the local businesses which the Scottish Government has today indicated will not be able to open until late August or even September. The pandemic is no more the fault of the local driving instructor or personal trainer than anyone else, but their livelihoods will take a greater hit.

“Similarly, it might be the right public health decision to keep non-essential offices shut, but long-term closures will upend town and city centre economies. With the suggestion that existing grant schemes may be underspent, if ministers want to keep certain sectors shut for longer they may need to provide additional support to operators directly and indirectly affected.”