A charity has said restrictions being eased will bring much needed hope for older people
Age Scotland has welcomed the easing of lockdown restrictions, with indoor visits and overnight stays meaning families across Scotland can finally meet again.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced yesterday (Tuesday 11 May) that most of Scotland will move to Level 2 next Monday (May 17), with up to six people from three households allowed to meet indoors.
Overnight stays are also allowed, meaning people can travel to see friends and relatives living further away, while up to eight people from eight households can meet outdoors. Recommendations on physical distancing in homes and gardens have been eased - meaning people can hug each other again.
Brian Sloan, chief executive of Age Scotland, said: “This news will be warmly welcomed by millions of families across Scotland, especially those who have been cut off from their loved ones for the best part of a year.
“After many long and difficult months, I’m sure there will be many tears of joy when families are finally able to reunite.
“While outdoor meetings are already permitted, they aren’t feasible for those who live too far away for a day trip or many people with health conditions. Relaxing restrictions on overnight visits means hundreds of thousands of people will now be able to travel to meet their friends and relatives again.
“We’ve heard from numerous older people who desperately miss their families, and grandparents who haven’t even met a new grandchild yet. While phone and video calls can be a lifeline, they are no substitute for meeting in person and hugging children and grandchildren.
“While we’re not yet out of the woods, this is an important step on the road back to normality.
“The last year has taken a huge toll on many older people’s mental health and well-being, with soaring levels of loneliness and isolation. Now that infections are falling, and most older people are fully vaccinated, they can now have the confidence to start to pick up their lives again.”
Any older person can call the Age Scotland Friendship Line on 0800 12 44 222 for advice or a chat, weekdays between 9am and 5pm.