First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announcement

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced,

“We want to help children enjoy these summer holidays a bit more. We also know the clinical risks of Covid, particularly for younger children, appear to be relatively low although we will never be complacent about that. And we know that for as long as there are restrictions on the number of households we can meet, families will find it difficult to balance the social needs for children and adults. Understandably, you all don’t want to see the same people everyday.

Bearing that in mind, I’m announcing today two further changes to our rules to allow for a bit more interaction between young people and these changes will both apply from tomorrow. For children who are 11 years old or under, we’re removing the requirement for you to physically distance with other people when you’re outdoors. That will allow you to play more normally with your friends, which I hope you will enjoy. I’m sure this move will also be appreciated by your parents and carers.

However, other rules will remain the same for the next wee while. You should continue to meet in groups of 8 or less and to meet no more than 2 other households at a time. Adults who are with you should continue to observe physical distancing from each other and physical distancing even for you as children, is still advised indoors.

Our guidance is different for children aged 12-17, we’re not yet relaxing the physical distancing rule for you, and I’m saying more about that shortly. But we know that you don’t want to be limited by who your parents can meet, you want to have your own lives and meet your own friends. So when you meet other people, we are still asking you to do that outdoors, and you should still stick to a limit of 8 people from no more than three households at any one time. However, we will lift the number, the limit on the number of meetings you can have in one day. That means you can meet different groups of friends, at different times of the day, and also importantly it won’t mean you won’t be prevented meeting your friends just because your parents or carers or your brother or sisters happens to be meeting their friends. As I said for now we’re asking older children to still keep 2 metres distant from people in other households, even outdoors. I know that the advice we published today suggests that this is less important for young people, so we do hope that this will change in the weeks to come, but initially and for your safety, we want to act cautiously.

Now these changes are careful but important steps that I hope will make life just a little bit easier and also perhaps a little bit more fun for children and young people. I hope next week to set out more changes, not just for children, but for adults as well, to how households can meet, interact and play, and I also hope to confirm at that stage, that organised outdoor contact sports for children can resume from the 13th of July.

However I hope these changes, do allow you as children and young people a bit more freedom in meeting up with your friends, and I hope they allow you to make a bit more of the summer holidays, even if as will probably be the case in Scotland, it’s raining for much of the time.”

Nicola Sturgeon

First Minister of Scotland

2nd July 2020