Nicola Sturgeon has announced Scotland is moving to phase two of the country’s slow route out of coronavirus lockdown.

The First Minister confirmed changes to socialising inside and outdoors in a welcome boost to Scots desperate to meet more friends and family.

Rules on sticking within five miles from your area will remain in place, apart from visiting some relatives.

But in a major change, people “shielding” at home can now exercise outside, even playing golf and meeting another household with immediate effect.

Despite rumours that pubs and restaurants could benefit from Thursday’s announcements, Ms Sturgeon said she would wait a further two weeks for more information as to whether they could be reopened.

SOCIAL MEETINGS

From Friday, June 19, Scots can meet up with members of two other households outdoors in groups of no greater than eight people. You can also go indoors to use the bathroom – but making sure you clean the toilet thoroughly.

Those living alone can form an “extended household group”. This means they can meet indoors without social distancing and stay overnight. For example, this will allow a non-cohabiting couple to meet up without social distancing.

PUBS AND RESTAURANTS

Bad news for everyone desperate to go for a pint in the sun. The First Minister says she is not currently able to offer a date for when beer gardens are able to reopen. More work is being commissioned to make the change safely.

LEISURE AND RECREATION

No big change here. Scots should “stay close or within their local area” during phase two.

That means they should not travel further than five miles from their home for recreation – this does not include visiting family members.

TRANSPORT

Public transport will begin operating extended services and, as expected, face coverings will now be mandatory on trains, the subway, planes, enclosed ferries and taxis.

Under-fives will be exempt as will some people with breathing problems.

RETAIL

Retail premises of all sizes can reopen from Monday, June 29 as long as they have outdoor entrances and exits – with social distancing still in place. This means that indoor shopping centres will stay closed for now.

SHIELDING

Scots who are shielding – and not resident in care homes – can now go out and exercise and from tomorrow, they can meet groups from one other household outdoors.

DENTISTS

Will reopen from Monday, June 22 for emergency work.

BACK TO WORK

Factories, workshops, and research centres can reopen with flexible working where possible. Outdoor businesses – such as zoos – will also reopen. Offices should not reopen for now.

The changes were confirmed as two more hospital deaths were confirmed of people who tested positive for COVID-19 in Scotland, taking the death toll to 2,464.

Ms Sturgeon said COVID-19 is still clearly a dangerous virus, but the rate of infection has fallen.