ScotRail have issued an important announcement ahead of the relaxation of a Scotland-wide travel ban tomorrow.

Speaking on Tuesday, Nicola Sturgeon confirmed an acceleration in the easing of some restrictions in Scotland, following a reduction in the prevalence of the virus.

From Friday, people can travel within Scotland for recreational purposes, socialising and exercise – though travel between the mainland and some islands will not be permitted.

Rules on gatherings will also be relaxed, with six adults from up to six households able to meet up outside.

Irvine Times:

Following the announcement, ScotRail released a statement reminding passengers of their rules and welcoming them back on board.

Posting on Twitter, ScotRail wrote: “Following the Scottish Government announcement, train travel will no longer be limited to essential journeys as of this Friday (April 16).

“This means that Scotland’s Railway is once again open to all, and we’re here to help you travel with confidence.

“Over the past year, we’ve implemented an enhanced cleaning regime in all out trains and stations.

“Remember that it’s a legal requirement to wear a face mask (unless exempt) & maintain at least 1m physical distancing from others. Alcohol is also currently banned on our network.”

They added: “We’re providing 72% of our pre-pandemic number of seats on trains while running 65% of our usual timetabled services.

“On routes that we expect to be busy we’ll add extra carriages on key services. We’re confident this will be enough to accommodate everyone who wants to travel.

“To keep waiting times down, please buy your ticket in advance – you can do this with the ScotRail app, on our website, or at the station. You need to have a valid ticket before boarding the train.

“Remember, the last trains of the day leave much earlier than normal – and services on the next three Sundays will be affected by strike action. It’s really important you plan ahead, you may want to make alternative arrangements for travel on Sunday.”

The easing of restrictions followed an almost seven-month low in cases on Monday, with just 199 cases.

The next stage in Scotland’s lockdown easing plan will see cafes, restaurants and beer gardens open on April 26, along with shops, gyms, libraries and museums.

Hospitality will need to close their doors at 8pm indoors and 10pm outdoors, with alcohol only allowed to be served outside.

Travel will also be allowed on this date to other parts of Britain, with reviews planned on journeys to Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Scotland has five tiers of coronavirus restrictions, with the entire country – excepting some of the islands – currently in the highest tier, Level 4.

Ms Sturgeon said she was confident the country will move down levels as planned.

“We are now extremely confident that those parts of the country currently in Level 4 will move to Level 3 on April 26, that’s now less that two weeks away,” she said.

“That means, amongst other things, that on that day shops will fully reopen. Pubs, cafes and restaurants will also be able to fully open outdoors on April 26 and will be able to open indoors on that date, but on a restricted basis.”