Scotland will take a further big step out of lockdown tomorrow as further restrictions ease.

The First Minister said that progress against the virus allows for the “widely welcomed” changes.

They include the long-awaited return of hairdressers and barbers. This is only for pre-booked appointments and for those with shopfronts – not mobile services.

Dunfermline Press: Hairdresser

Click and collect shopping can also return for non-essential retail, as well as the re-opening of homeware and garden centres such as Ikea, Dobbies and B&Q.

Car showrooms and forecourts can also re-open.

Tomorrow will also see a return of around 30% of college students identified as being within the top three priority groups by College Scotland as most likely not to complete this academic year.

And outdoor contact sport can also resume for 12 to 17-year-olds.

Speaking last week, the First Minister said there is “no doubt that we have made progress”, both in supressing the virus and in vaccination – that has allowed the changes coming into force tomorrow.

However, she said: “Obviously, we don’t want big crowds at any of these stores – so although they open on the 5th, think about whether you really need to visit them on Monday itself. If you can, wait until later in the week.

“Going later in the week – or later in the month – might mean things are a bit quieter.

“And of course, follow the advice and the instructions given by store staff. Those staff will be helping to keep you and the other customers safe.”

It comes following the lifting of the ‘Stay at Home’ order on Friday.

The change to ‘Stay Local’ meant that people can travel within their local authority area for non-essential purposes. It is hoped that by April 26, travel to other mainland Scotland areas will be allowed.

Ms Sturgeon added: “These changes will I hope be widely welcomed.

“But they are – quite deliberately – fairly cautious steps out of lockdown.

“If you look across to Europe at the moment, many countries there are seeing a big rise in cases.

“We don’t want the same thing to happen here if we can avoid it.”

What next?

The First Minister said she will give further updates in April but that Scotland is on course to ease restrictions further, with cafes, restaurants, shops and gyms due to open from April 26 and more people allowed to meet up outdoors.

Non-essential shops, libraries, museums and galleries will also reopen from April 26, and six people from up to three households will be able to meet outdoors.

Beer gardens will also be able to open from that date, the First Minister has said.

Pubs will have to wait until May 17 to reopen indoors.