Lockdown restrictions could begin to be lifted by the end of the month if the coronavirus cases continue to fall, Nicola sturgeon has said.

The First Minister said she will outline the decisions that could be taken to gradually remove restrictions later this week.

It is however, dependent on the rate of new infection, and hospital admissions continuing to show a downward trend.

The next date when the lockdown is legally required to be reviewed is May 28 and Ms Sturgeon said changes could be made within days of that.

She stressed that it would only be possible if people continue to abide by the rules to drive the numbers down further and said for now the lockdown restrictions apply.

Ms Sturgeon, said: “Within two weeks, my hope is that we will be taking some concrete steps on the journey back to normality.

“As I’ve said before, it won’t be normality as we knew it because the virus will not have gone away but it will be a journey to a better balance - I hope - than the one we have today.

“As we take each step, we must make sure that the ground beneath us is as solid as possible.

“That’s why sticking with the lockdown restrictions a bit longer to suppress the virus more is so important because that will mean we can start to take these steps with the confidence that we have alternative means of effectively keeping it under control.”

The changes will still be minimal and could include meeting outdoors with people from other households, playing sports like golf or fishing.

Garden centres could also be allowed to re-open and some forms of outdoor work allowed to restart.

The First Minister also said there could be details of how there can be a phased return to school but she did not say when that could take place.

It is thought unlikely that school will re-start before the summer holidays.

Teachers unions are speaking to the Scottish Government and councils about what conditions need to be in place to ensure it is safe to do so

The First Minister revealed the latest update on cases and deaths.

There were two more deaths registered, although figures following the weekend are always understood to be lower that the actual number because some deaths are not registered until days later.

Another 57 cases were recorded taking the total to 14,394. There were1005 in hospital confirmed with coronavirus, down two and there were 64 people in intensive care an increase of four.

She also announced a new symptom has been confirmed and people should self-isolate for seven days if they have it.

She said studies have confirmed a loss of sense of smell or taste to be a symptom and it has been added to the list of a persistent cough or fever as reasons for self-isolation.