Pubs and restaurants can open indoors in Scotland from today and 50 people can attend weddings and funerals.
The country moves from Level 4 to Level 3 of the Scottish Government’s five tiers of restrictions on April 26.
Funerals and weddings – including post-funeral events and receptions – will be allowed to take place with up to 50 people and alcohol permitted.
Meanwhile, pubs, restaurants, bars, cafes and other hospitality businesses are reopening for outdoor service in Wales today for the first time since December.
It means gyms, swimming pools, libraries and museums can reopen along with cafes, restaurants and beer gardens.
Hospitality will need to close at 8pm indoors, with alcohol only allowed to be served outside.
Indoor mixing in England will not be permitted until at least May 17 when groups of six people or up to two households will be allowed to meet indoors while the rule of six will be scrapped for outdoor gatherings.
Cafes, beer gardens, museums and non-essential shops are reopening in Scotland today
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon (pictured) declared last week that cafes, bars, restaurants, shops and gyms can get back up and running next week, hailing the success of the vaccine rollout
From today in Scotland, people will be able to meet others for a meal or drink, with up to six people from two households allowed to socialise indoors in a public place such as a café or restaurant.
Other changes include the resumption of driving lessons and tests while close contact services, such as beauty parlours, can also return.
Travel between Scotland, England and Wales will be permitted and tourist accommodation can welcome back visitors.
Non-essential work inside people’s homes – such as painting, decorating or repairing – can take place.
Adults on the shielding list can return to the workplace if they cannot work from home, while children who have been shielding can go back to school.
Non-essential retail can reopen from today across Scotland. Pictured: Old town in Edinburgh
VisitScotland is calling on Scots to support the recovery of the tourism sector by enjoying short breaks, days out and staycations in Scotland.
Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland chief executive, said: ‘It is clear that tourism has been one of the greatest economic casualties of the pandemic.
‘We’ve had a year of very little investment, job losses and business closures – it will take time and significant investment to get us back to a thriving industry.
‘With the right support, tourism and events can lead the economic recovery and boost inward investment where it’s needed most, but to do that the industry needs the support of people living in Scotland in the first instance.
‘Many businesses are reopening after months of no trade, and with staycations set to be popular again this year, there is a real opportunity for us all to rally round and show our support for local tourism.’
The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) also urged people to support the retail sector.
Beer gardens in Wales will also open after being closed since December 4 (pictured in Cardiff)
David Lonsdale, SRC director, said: ‘We encourage Scots to get out and visit their favourite shops over the coming weeks knowing every purchase they make and every item they buy is a local job supported and a high street helped.
‘Unlocking consumer spending will be central to Scotland’s economic recovery and to bouncing back quickly.’
Meanwhile, in Wales, pubs, restaurants, bars, cafes and other hospitality businesses are reopening for outdoor service on Monday for the first time since December.
Organised outdoor activities will also be permitted for up to 30 people from Monday, and outdoor wedding receptions for the same number – while outdoor visitor attractions can open.
People have been unable to buy alcohol as part of a sit-in service at hospitality businesses in Wales since December 4 when tough restrictions were imposed on the sector in response to a surge in coronavirus infections.
Pubs, bars and restaurants were banned from selling alcoholic drinks unless as a takeaway and forced to shut at 6pm.
First Minister Mark Drakeford (pictured) said indoor hospitality and all tourist accommodation in Wales could reopen on May 17 were he to lead the country after the May 6 Senedd election
When Wales went into lockdown on December 20, hospitality businesses were forced to close, but could continue to offer takeaways.
Today’s easing of hospitality rules comes as other restrictions were eased on Saturday, allowing any six people to meet up outdoors.
Children under 11 years of age are not included in the new six-household limit, nor are carers from those households.
Meeting people from other households indoors is still not allowed except for a limited number of circumstances.
From May 3, gyms and leisure centres can reopen, and people can form extended households with one other household.
Indoor supervised activities for children, indoor organised activities for up to 15 adults like exercise classes, and reopening community centres is also being brought forward from May 17 to May 3, which will complete Wales’ move to Alert Level 3.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said indoor hospitality and all tourist accommodation in Wales could reopen on May 17 were he to lead the country after the May 6 Senedd election, while the main opposition parties have already committed to the same date if they win the poll.