Coronavirus rules: Scotland’s sedate stroll out of lockdown

People across Scotland have been heading out into the sunshine to take advantage of the relaxation of some the lockdown restrictions. And it seems that those gathering in parks and beaches have been keeping their distance and adopting a cautious approach to their new freedoms.

Aberdeen

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Alessio and Eloisa Tancredi-Marshall were enjoying Aberdeen beach

Aberdeen certainly felt like it had a more relaxed atmosphere on Friday afternoon as the city basked in warm sunshine under blue skies on the first day of lockdown easing, writes Ken Banks

At Aberdeen beach, it was relatively quiet compared to the scenes that have been witnessed elsewhere around the country recently.

There were some small groups of families and couples, with children playing happily in the sand, but they were well spaced apart from others.

Among them were three-year-old Alessio Tancredi-Marshall and five-year-old sister Eloisa.

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Aberdeen beach only seemed to have small groups

Their mum Chiara, 35, welcomed the easing of lockdown as it offered “just a bit more freedom”.

She said: “They have been cooped up for so long, this is a massive difference.

“We have stuck to the rules, they have just been going on their bikes round the block. Thankfully we have a garden.”

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Victoria Park in Aberdeen was relatively quiet

The story was much at same at Victoria Park in the Rosemount area – small groups on the grass, but keeping their distance.

It certainly felt like there were more cars on the roads.

And there were queues outside butchers and fishmongers, perhaps an indication of garden barbecues lying in store in the afternoon and evening.

Dumfries

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Social distancing was being well respected in Dock Park

If the early signs are anything to go by, Doonhamers are following the advice to act responsibly as lockdown is slowly eased, writes Giancarlo Rinaldi

There was a bit more buzz on the banks of the River Nith, but no stampede as some might have feared.

In Dock Park, the children’s play areas remained shut and only a few picnickers were dotted around the place.

Any walkers, joggers and cyclists appeared to be pretty rigorously observing the appropriate social distancing.

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Only a handful of people had stopped along the banks of a very low River Nith

Further into town, a handful of people had stopped to take the sun on the Whitesands and Greensands, but not in any numbers to cause concern.

Signs are out to remind anyone about getting too close – but after so long in lockdown it appears people have understood the message to take things one step at a time.

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Signs were out to remind everyone about the need to keep two metres apart

Despite the glorious sunshine there might still be a little anxiety, too, about heading to spots where there might be any significant gatherings.

Whatever the reasons, it looked more of a sedate stroll out of lockdown than a serious sprint in the Queen of the South.

Edinburgh

Thousands of people flocked to Edinburgh’s parks and beaches on the first day of the Pandemic Protocol lockdown being eased, writes Angie Brown.

Sunbathers covered The Meadows and sat on park benches as temperatures reached 25C in the capital.

People were seen playing matches on tennis courts and others walked in local beauty spots.

Grannies were seen out walking with pushchairs at Blackford Pond after being reunited with their grandchildren.

There was a noticeable increase in the volume of traffic and many cars had their roofs down while others were playing music.

However, the Pentland Hills regional park was still closed to motorists. They reopen next week.

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Maddy Scaife and Dr Ben O Ceallaigh on Bruntsfield Links in Edinburgh

Maddy Scaife, 24, and Dr Ben O Ceallaigh, 30, said they had bought a hammock especially for the reopening of parks.

Maddy said: “We live in a flat in Bruntsfield and don’t have a garden so the lockdown has been horrendous for us.

“We are so enjoying being out today on Bruntsfield Links and seeing everyone enjoying the day.

“It’s lovely to see everyone out and it’s such a nice atmosphere.”

Dundee

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People on Magdalen Green were keeping their distances

In Dundee, some of those enjoying the Friday lunchtime sunshine were surprised that the city’s parks were quieter than they had been over the past few days, writes Graeme Ogston.

Traditional sunbathing hotspots like Magdalen Green and Dudhope Park saw a few dozen people walking dogs and having lunch on park benches, with only a solitary disposable barbecue in sight.

Despite tennis being back on the the outdoor menu, only one pair of players were taking advantage of the game’s return on the Baxter Park public tennis court.

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The hot weather drew the crowds to Broughty Ferry beach

In nearby Broughty Ferry the crowds continued to flock to the beach, but Dundee city centre’s main open space Slessor Gardens was relatively quiet with only about 50 people, mostly observing social distancing rules.

Inverness

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Inverness city centre on Friday

On a day like today Inverness should be hoaching, writes Steven McKenzie

The sun is shining and the temperature is in the mid-20s, but the city still feels quiet.

Even though some lockdown restrictions have been eased from today, the Highland capital is missing its droves of tourists.

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Inverness Castle in the sun on Friday

At this time of year, they pour in from the cruise ships berthing at Invergordon and flock in from other parts of the UK.

The visitors can usually be found gawking up at Inverness Castle, or wandering the city centre or the picturesque riverside.

But for now the city is for Invernessians only.

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Streets remain quiet in the Highland capital

Yes, the roads and the supermarkets do feel busier.

What is more noticeable is people enjoying the chance to meet up with another household.

Families could be seen in grassy open spaces and gardens revelling in the chance, while social distancing, to catch up with neighbours, family and friends.

Inverclyde

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Pinewood Fishery near Kilmacolm was fully booked as anglers observed strict social distancing

At Pinewood Trout Fishery outside Kilmacolm, a pre-booking system was in force as anglers returned to the banks – and only family members from the same residence were able to book in groups, writes Calum Watson

“Normally, apart from the fly fishing, people can sit where they want, but we’ve pegged out positions, like we do for competitions,” explained Jim Hart in the booking office.

“If they don’t observe social distancing, we’ll ask them to leave. It doesn’t matter if they’ve paid.”

All the fishing slots were fully booked for Friday, and Saturday’s slots were filling up fast.

“Everyone is trying to make the most of it because they’ve not been out,” he added.

East Renfrewshire

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Early bird shoppers flocked to Rouken Glen Garden Centre

There were queues outside Rouken Glen Garden Centre in Giffnock as it opened its doors at 10:00 for the first time since the start of the lockdown, writes Deirdre Kelly

Staff have been busy preparing the plants – and implementing a one-way system to keep shoppers safe.

Screens have been fitted at the till area and the plant displays have been spread out – some them now occupying a space that was formerly the tea room.