Businesses and the cultural sector have welcomed news that coronavirus restrictions in Scotland are easing further as the country moves into phase three of its route-map out of lockdown.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it is “undoubtedly a time for cautious hope and optimism”, as she announced bars, restaurants and hairdressers can reopen and the lifting of restrictions on other activities and services.
Scottish Chambers of Commerce chief executive Liz Cameron said the latest changes will be “very much welcomed by all, particularly businesses that are due to reopen and begin to build up their trade”.
Urging people to support their local businesses as they reopen, she added: “Our business communities across Scotland are eager and ready to get back to work in order to breathe life back into our economy and protect the livelihoods it supports.
“The next great challenge is now determining if consumer demand can be stimulated and maintained as Government support measures taper off in the next few months.”
A joint statement from Scotland’s museums and galleries, including the V&A Dundee and Glasgow Life, said the sector “warmly welcomes” confirmation such premises can reopen from July 15 with safety measures and physical distancing rules in place.
The statement added: “Reopening involves individual logistical challenges which we are approaching with a focus on protecting the health and safety of our visitors and employees whilst ensuring a quality visitor experience.
“We know that our visitors are eager to visit as soon as possible so we will be encouraging them to check our opening details online before they visit.
“Scotland’s museums and galleries and the collections they care for and display play a vital economic, educational and placemaking role in our rural and urban communities.
“The pandemic has been challenging for all, and collectively we would like to express our gratitude to the public for their ongoing engagement and support.
“We look forward to doing all we can to support Scotland’s recovery as soon as is safely possible, through spaces and collections that bring us together, comfort, educate, spark conversations and inspire creativity.”