The Scottish Conservatives have said it is time to “look again” at the two-metre social distancing rule as Scotland continues to lift lockdown restrictions.
The measure has been in place since coronavirus spread across the country, but many businesses are now saying it will be impossible for them to reopen without it being eased.
Leader Jackson Carlaw said the decision was the most significant the Scottish Government faced so far in the attempt to balance economic need and overall public health.
But he said, considering evidence which had been noted in other European countries, it was now time to consider cutting the two-metre stipulation.
He also urged the SNP to publish all the scientific advice it had on the rule to help public debate and improve scrutiny.
Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw said:
“This is probably the most significant decision the Scottish Government will take as we leave lockdown.
“That's why it's essential such a move is discussed openly, and all the scientific evidence for it published so it can be debated in full.
“There is a difficult balance to strike, and nobody should think it’s a straightforward matter.
“But given the experience of other countries - like Denmark or Germany - together with the progress we have already achieved, the Scottish Conservatives believe it is now time to consider reducing the social distance measure from two metres.
“It’s right that the two-metre rule has been in place over the last 10 weeks of lockdown, and it remains essential that we proceed cautiously to ensure the protection of the public’s health.
“We also can't see the distance rule in isolation - testing and tracing remains essential, and businesses need wider guidance on how to adapt to any reduction.
“But we have to protect the fabric of local communities.
“This is about security for families and the livelihoods of thousands of people across Scotland.
“Looking again at the distance measure should be part of the journey out of lockdown.”