Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson have revealed their new lockdown frameworks for Scotland and England.

The pair announced major changes which will create a strategy for getting out of lockdown along with some target dates, however, they are both quite different approaches.

READ MORE: ‘We can’t stay in lockdown indefinitely’: Lockdown exit plan to assess data rather than offer blind promises

The First Minister's is data-driven, whereas Boris Johnson has opted for hard dates.

In Scotland, the framework includes the reopening of schools, care homes, relaxed rules on socialising, the reopening of the economy and a hopeful return to a tiered lockdown system by April 26.

The Herald:

England, on the other hand, is aiming to reopen shops, pubs, hairdressers all by April 12 with hopes of coming out of lockdown entirely by June 21.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she hopes to be able to give more detail in mid-March on the easing of restrictions in Scotland.

The First Minister said she hoped lockdown could be eased by the end of April, with all council areas in Scotland then moving into Level 3 of its tiered approach.


Phase One - From February 22

  • Early learning and childcare and schools open for Primary 1-3 pupils and senior phase pupils for essential practical work.
  • Limited increase in the provision for vulnerable children.
  • Care homes opening to facilitate meaningful contact between relatives/ friends and residents.

Phase Two - Unlikely before March 15

  • Second phase of schools reopening
  • University and colleges - Phased return of a further small number of priority students for in-person learning
  • Non-contact outdoor group sports for 12-17-year-olds subject to sport-specific guidance.
  • Socialising rules eased, to allow outdoor meetings of four people from two households.

Phase Three - Unlikely before April 5

  • The third and final phase of schools reopening if required.
  • Stay at Home requirement removed.
  • Places of worship can open on a restricted numbers basis [20].
  • Retailers list expanded slightly and click-and- collect resumes for non-essential retail.

Phase Four - Unlikely before April 26

  • A return to geographically variable levels.
  • Limited other easings within Level 4, including permitting non-essential work in people’s homes.
  • Return to variable Levels approach, based on revised metrics in light of WHO guidance.
  • This will enable the graduated opening up of economic and social activity, at a pace that is safe given epidemiological conditions.
  • Increasing vaccine coverage over time should enable greater easing of restrictions.

What are the conditions?

Gateway condition:

at least all JCVI Priority Groups 1-9 offered at least first vaccine and WHO’s six conditions met.

World Health Organisation (WHO): 6 Conditions for safe easing

  1. Transmission is controlled.
  2. Sufficient public health and health system capacities are in place.
  3. Outbreak risks are minimized in high vulnerability settings.
  4. Preventive measures are established in workplaces.
  5. Manage the risk of exporting and importing cases.
  6. Communities have a voice, are informed, engaged and participatory in the transition.


The Herald:


Stage one is in two parts:

March 8

  • All schools and colleges will reopen
  • University students can return for practical courses. There will be a review by the end of the Easter holidays for all other students
  • Face coverings are recommended in class for secondary school students and also for parents and staff in primary schools
  • Wraparound childcare can also return for vulnerable pupils and where it is needed for parents or carers to go to work, support groups or to seek medical care
  • Two people from different households can meet outside for recreation, which can include "a coffee on a bench"
  • One nominated person can visit care homes, but will need PPE, a lateral flow test and to "keep physical contact to a minimum"
  • Weddings attended by up to six people can take place in any circumstances

March 29

  • People will be allowed to meet outside, either with one other household or within the "rule of six", including in private gardens
  • The stay at home rule will end but people should stay local as much as possible
  • Outdoor sport facilities will reopen, including tennis and basketball courts
  • Formally organised outdoor sports can also restart
  • Parents and children groups can return but are capped at 15 and must be outdoors. Indoor groups can take place for vulnerable children and where parents need the groups to go to work

Stage two

No earlier than April 12:

  • All shops allowed to open
  • Restaurants and pub gardens will be allowed to serve customers sitting outdoors, including alcohol
  • Gyms and spas can reopen for individuals and households
  • Hairdressers, beauty salons and other "close contact services" can reopen
  • UK "staycations" away from home permitted, with self-contained accommodation able to reopen for use by members of the same household
  • Children allowed to attend indoor play activities, with up to 15 parents or guardians allowed to join them
  • Zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas can reopen
  • Libraries and community centres can reopen
  • Weddings attended by up to 15 people can take place

Stage three

No earlier than May 17:

  • People can meet in groups of up to 30 outdoors
  • Six people or two households can meet indoors
  • Up to 30 people can meet to celebrate weddings or other life events, like christenings
  • Remaining outdoor entertainment, such as outdoor theatres and cinemas can open
  • Indoor entertainment such as museums, theatres, cinemas and children's play areas can open
  • Performances and large events will be subject to limits though. For indoor events they can be at half capacity or 1,000 people, and outdoors they can be at half capacity or 4,000 people - whichever is lower. For large venues (at least 40,000 capacity) up to 10,000 will be allowed to attend
  • Hotels, hostels and B&Bs can reopen to household groups
  • International travel will resume no earlier than 17 May
  • Adult indoor group sports and exercise classes can start up again

Stage four

No earlier than June 21:

  • All legal limits on social contact will be removed
  • No legal limits on the number of people who can attend weddings, funerals and other life events. From April, the government will run pilots for events such as large weddings, festivals and work conferences. This will help to determine how measures such as enhanced testing might allow large groups to attend without social distancing
  • Nightclubs will be allowed to reopen

What are these based on?

Each stage will be a minimum of five weeks apart.

Four conditions must be met at each stage before proceeding to the next one:

  • The coronavirus vaccine programme continues to go to plan
  • Vaccines are sufficiently reducing the number of people dying with the virus or needing hospital treatment
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospital admissions
  • New coronavirus variants do not fundamentally change the risk of lifting restrictions