THE Scottish Conservatives have launched a plan to ease coronavirus restrictions at a faster pace, protect jobs and tackle the looming economic crisis. 

The party said its proposals would speed up the current approach by around three weeks, based on the success of the vaccine scheme and public health data. 

Its three-phase "rebuilding roadmap" includes an ambition for full employment by 2025 and emergency legislation to protect jobs. 

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It also includes proposals for an internal UK tourism drive and a "national exporting campaign", alongside other schemes. 

Under the Scottish Tory plans, gyms would reopen immediately and bars and restaurants could serve alcohol indoors from April 26.

Cinemas and bingo halls would also reopen from that date, while small indoor and outdoor events would resume with restrictions and outdoor adult contact sport and indoor group exercise would also restart.

From May 17, all indoor non-contact sports would be allowed to take place, while Scotland would move to Level 0 "not before June 7". 

"By reopening safely slightly faster, we would get Scotland’s economy moving again ahead of the SNP’s schedule, while remaining cautious," the party said.

Bars and restaurants can reopen from April 26 under the Scottish Government's current plans, but will not be able to serve alcohol indoors.

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said: "The success of the vaccine scheme and positive public health data supports a more optimistic roadmap out of restrictions, while still remaining cautious.

"The easing of restrictions will kick-start the economy but it will not prevent an economic crisis. 

"A tsunami of job losses and business failures will still hit Scotland unless urgent action is taken.

"As the most anti-business First Minister since devolution, Nicola Sturgeon is not suited to lead an SNP majority government through the looming economic crisis.

"There is a real risk of an SNP majority that fails to support Scotland’s recovery with the necessary jobs plan to match the scale of this emergency and instead chooses to drag Scotland through the economic uncertainty of another divisive referendum.

"Our Rebuilding Roadmap presents a detailed blueprint to get Scotland on a faster road to recovery ahead of the SNP’s schedule, prioritising mental and physical health, and launching a raft of proposals to protect jobs and spur economic growth.

"We would seek to tackle the economic crisis head-on with emergency legislation for an Enterprise Bill and targeted interventions to reduce unemployment.

"The Scottish Conservatives will stand on a policy platform to focus 100 per cent on Scotland’s recovery, rebuild our economy and stop a divisive independence referendum that would put even more jobs at risk.”

Under phase two of the Scottish Tory plans, the party would set an ambition for full employment by 2025, as well as launching other measures such as an internal tourism drive and rapid retraining courses.

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Phase three would see the party working to secure teachers' jobs while launching a major broadband and housing drive.

It would also initiate various schemes aimed at encouraging economic recovery, such as unlimited apprenticeships.

Mr Ross will today launch the party’s central policy pledges for the election featuring five key commitments to recruit 3,000 more teachers, deliver £500 Retrain to Rebuild skills grants for everyone, provide £2 billion extra for Scotland’s NHS, complete the rollout of full fibre broadband by 2027, and restore local policing.