Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland has announced lockdown easing will begin next week with the hope that her government will be able to speed up the easing of restrictions if sufficient progress is made.

The outlined route map for easing the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions will be gradual and in four phases with each phase carefully monitoring of the virus.

She said: "And at all times, we'll be guided by scientific advice. So sometimes we may have to hit the brakes."

Phase one will start on Thursday 28th May until we enter Phase 1, the advice remains to stay at home except for essential purposes.

The first phase will enable meeting up with members of another household outdoors, with physical distancing measures in place, as well as the re-opening of garden centres, drive-through food outlets, and household recycling sites.

It will also allow more outdoor activity – such as sitting in parks – and outdoor sports such as fishing, hiking and golf.

Travelling short distances (broadly within 5 miles) for outdoor leisure and exercise will also be permitted in Phase 1.

School staff will begin returning to schools to make necessary preparations and adjustments for the new school year beginning from August 11, and where possible, transition support will be available to pupils starting P1 and S1.

An increased number of children will be able to access critical childcare, with the resumption of child-minding services and outdoor nursery provision.

Read the full route map document here.

What’s more, Phase 1 will see safe restarting of some NHS services – covering primary services including mental health, a resumption of some GP services coupled with an increase in digital consultations, as well as a gradual restarting of urgent elective treatments.

Ms Sturgeon added: "Abiding by the rules now is what makes it possible to think about relaxing them in the future. So please stay home and stay safe. By doing the right thing, all of us have helped to slow the spread of the virus, to protect the NHS, and to save lives. And as a result, we are able – gradually, cautiously, and in phases – to plan our move back to some normality."