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Scottish barber reopens at midnight as pubs, cinemas and attractions welcome customers

Lockdown measures are being eased to get Scotland back into business today, with pubs, restaurants, hair salons and tourist attractions all set to reopen.

Strict social distancing and hygiene measures are in place from today as Scots enter the third phase of Scottish Government’s route map out of lockdown.  

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urged people to adhere to guidelines in place such as providing contact details to assist with tracing where necessary to help prevent a resurgence of the virus.

One barber shop in Giffnock, Glasgow, reopened at midnight to thank loyal customers  

Scotland's tourist attractions and hotels, include Prestonfield House in Edinburgh, are able to reopen from today

Scotland’s tourist attractions and hotels, include Prestonfield House in Edinburgh, are able to reopen from today

She told the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing: ‘The changes that come into force [on Wednesday] are the highest risk changes so far since we started to come out of lockdown because many of them involve indoor activity and we know the the risk of the virus spreading indoors, in a pub for example, is significantly higher than outdoors.’

Further relaxations include museums, galleries, monuments, cinemas and libraries being permitted to open again with precautions in place – for example, tickets being secured in advance.

Scotland’s tourism sector can also reopen, including all holiday accommodation, while the childcare sector can fully reopen.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned these were the 'highest risk' changes since Scotland started to ease its lockdown measures

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned these were the ‘highest risk’ changes since Scotland started to ease its lockdown measures

Hotels, including Prestonfield House, have been putting the finishing touches on their decorations to prepare for visitors after months of lockdown

Hotels, including Prestonfield House, have been putting the finishing touches on their decorations to prepare for visitors after months of lockdown

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Places of worship can open their doors for communal prayer and contemplation, with physical distancing and numbers limited to 50.

Restrictions on attendance at weddings and funerals will be eased but numbers remain limited and physical distancing is required.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urged people to adhere to guidelines in place such as providing contact details to assist with tracing where necessary to help prevent a resurgence of the virus. 

She added: ‘I would make a plea to all customers to accept that, if you want to go somewhere like a hairdresser or a place of worship or to a popular restaurant, you will be asked to provide contact details.

‘You should co-operate with anyone who is asking you to do that.

‘In fact, if you’re not prepared to provide your contact details, my message to you is pretty blunt – don’t go to these places, because you could be putting others at greater risk.

She continued: ‘Our most immediate risk is not a second wave of Covid, it is a resurgence of the first wave.’

Tony Mann's Barber Shop in Giffnock, Glasgow, reopened at midnight this morning as measures eased

Tony Mann’s Barber Shop in Giffnock, Glasgow, reopened at midnight this morning as measures eased

New hygiene measures are in place, with face coverings and social distancing part and parcel of businesses reopening in Scotland from today

New hygiene measures are in place, with face coverings and social distancing part and parcel of businesses reopening in Scotland from today

A barber in East Renfrewshire opened his doors at midnight on Wednesday as a thank you to loyal customers who supported him through lockdown.

Tony Mann in Giffnock decided to start cutting hair as soon as he was allowed to on the first day of hairdressers and other establishments in Scotland reopening.

His barber shop will be open for 24 hours on Wednesday with the 24-year-old also fully booked with appointments for the following fortnight.

Both he and Margaret McGillivray were on hand to welcome Sean Munro and Mitchell Wildman as their first customers – and among the first people in Scotland to have an official haircut – in nearly four months.

Mr Mann said: ‘I’ve not been cutting hair since Friday March 20.

‘To give back to my clients who have been so loyal during this whole lockdown I thought I’d do 24 hours just to get everyone seen to and make sure there was no fights for getting a haircut.

People wanting beauty treatments will have to wait a little while longer as personal retail services such as beauticians and tailors cannot reopen until July 22, with enhanced hygiene measures.

On that date, colleges and universities can make a phased return to on campus learning as part of a blended model with remote teaching

No date has yet been given for the return of live events in outdoor and indoor venues, reopening of theatres, bingo halls, nightclubs, casinos and other entertainment venues and reopening of non-essential offices.

There is also no confirmed date for the restarting of amateur contact sports outdoors for adults, reopening of indoor gyms and resumption of driving lessons and test.

While barber shops have reopened, there is no date for when gyms will be able to welcome back visitors

While barber shops have reopened, there is no date for when gyms will be able to welcome back visitors

Changes in these sectors are currently not expected to take place before July 31. 

The easing of measures comes as a trade body said visitors returning to popular attractions will be a ‘very emotional experience for many people.

Bernard Donoghue, director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (Alva), said many sites are ‘vastly oversubscribed’ as people tick off places on their ‘wish list’ created during lockdown.

He made the comments as Alva published figures showing that 145 million visits were made to 266 of the UK’s most popular sites in 2019, up 6% on the previous 12 months.

Asked about people’s response to being able to return to attractions, Mr Donoghue told the PA news agency: ‘They’ve been confined to their house for three-and-a-half months, they’ve been drawing up a wish list of places that they want to go back to, and very often going back to their favourite places is a very emotional experience.

‘One person who went back to the grounds of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire said it was like coming back to an oasis in a coronavirus desert.

‘You’re seeing that a lot. People have got such built-up expectations and anticipation of going back to their favourite places that it’s quite an emotional experience for them.’

Mr Donoghue said most of the savings from the VAT reduction for attractions, which comes into force on Wednesday, will go towards helping venues ‘repair their finances as opposed to being passed on to customers’.

But he went on: ‘There is unprecedented demand on the part of the public to go back to their favourite visitor attractions.

‘The pre-booked slots are vastly oversubscribed.

‘We’re really confident that there’s a big movement, a big desire on the part of the public to come back to not only their favourite places but places they might not have considered going before.’

Mr Donoghue said parks, gardens, zoos and safari parks have seen a particular spike in demand as people are ‘prioritising going to outdoor spaces’ and are ‘slightly hesitant’ about visiting big cities due to the pandemic.

He hopes the strong performance of the UK’s visitor attractions in 2019 acts to ‘remind people of how popular and globally successful’ the sites are.

The top 10 most visited venues were in London, with the British Museum maintaining its number one spot in the annual ranking with 6.24 million visits in 2019.

This increase of 7% from 2018 was partly driven by exhibitions on Edvard Munch, Troy and Manga.

The latter – which showcased Japanese comics and graphic novels – was seen by the museum’s youngest and most diverse audience for a temporary exhibition, according to Alva.

Visits to attractions in Scotland were up by an average of 10% in 2019.

Edinburgh’s National Museum of Scotland was the UK’s most popular attraction outside London, with 2.21 million visits, putting it in 12th place overall.

Edinburgh Castle (2.20 million visits) and Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (1.83 million visits) were ranked 13th and 15th respectively.

Chester Zoo, which took 14th place with 2.09 million visits, recently warned it was ‘at risk of extinction’ and could end the year £24 million in debt due to the coronavirus lockdown.

But it has seen a surge in demand since being allowed to reopen on June 15, with all tickets sold out.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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