TODAY in Holyrood, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon addressed the nation to explain the Scottish Government’s route map that will guide the country out of lockdown.

The route map gives practical examples of what people, organisations and businesses can expect to see change over time.

If the evidence shows transmission of COVID-19 is under control and the number of infectious cases continue to decline the Scottish Government will consider moving to Phase 1 of the route map following the next end-of-cycle review date on 28 May.

The NHS Scotland test, trace, isolate and support system – known as Test and Protect - will be ready for expansion in all 14 health boards from 28 May.

A plan agreed between councils, professional associations and parent representatives to partially re-open schools from August 11, subject to scientific advice that it is safe to do so, has also been published today.

Cowdenbeath MSP Annabelle Ewing said: “The lockdown has been a hugely important stage in controlling the spread of the virus but we can’t live this way forever and everyone wants to get back to some sense of normality as quickly as is safely possible.

“While we need to move carefully and gradually, the route map laid out today by the First Minister clearly sets out the steps that will take us there".

Ms Ewing added: “Although the weekly numbers of deaths are falling, every death from this virus is a death too many and we cannot risk another peak – so every move we make must be in line with our own circumstances.

“If we continue to work together, sticking to the advice which will help suppress the virus further, then we will be able to move through the phases that have been outlined as quickly as we can, and get back a way of life that is as close to normal as possible.”