Scotland’s first minister is to announce a further easing of the country’s lockdown rules.
The move is likely to set a date for when shops selling non-essential goods can reopen to customers.
People are also expected to be allowed to meet in larger groups than the current limit of eight.
And they could also be allowed to meet another household indoors for the first time since the lockdown was imposed across the UK on 23 March.
The announcement by Nicola Sturgeon will see the country formally move to the second phase of its four-phase “route map” to ending the lockdown.
It will see workers being allowed to return to construction sites, factories, warehouses and laboratories, so long as proper social distancing measures are in place.
Playgrounds and sports courts will also be allowed to reopen, and professional sport will be able to resume – although the country’s football season finished early, with the new season not due to start until August.
Marriages and civil ceremonies should restart, but outdoors and with limited numbers.
Ms Sturgeon has previously stressed that not all of the changes will happen overnight, and it might not be until “the coming weeks” that some are in place.
The tourism industry, for example, has already been told to prepare to reopen on 15 July.
Ministers are still thought to be considering options for pubs and restaurants, and there is not yet expected to be an announcement on the reopening of indoor shopping malls.
The Scottish government has generally been taking a more cautious approach to opening the country up again than the UK government has in England, where shops were able to reopen earlier this month.
Figures released this week showed that Scotland’s economy shrank by 18.9% in April, slightly lower than the 20.4% recorded for the UK as a whole.
Its unemployment rate is now the highest of any country in the UK at 4.6% – partly because of its dependence on the tourism industry.
Ms Sturgeon has been facing calls to speed up the easing process to limit the massive economic damage of the lockdown as much as possible.
But she is concerned that doing so too quickly will risk a resurgence of the virus that has already been linked to the deaths of more than 4,000 people in Scotland.
The route map for easing lockdown
Phase 1 (already in place): Virus not yet contained but cases are falling. From 28 May you should be able to meet another household outside in small numbers. Sunbathing is allowed, along with some outdoor activities like golf and fishing. Garden centres and drive-through takeaways can reopen, some outdoor work can resume, and childminding services can begin.
Phase 2: Virus controlled. You can meet larger groups outdoors, and meet another household indoors. Construction, factories, warehouses, laboratories and small shops can resume work. Playgrounds and sports courts can reopen, and professional sport can begin again.
Phase 3: Virus suppressed. You can meet people from more than one household indoors. Non-essential offices would reopen, along with gyms, museums, libraries, cinemas, larger shops, pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and dentists. Live events could take place with restricted numbers and physical distancing restrictions. Schools should reopen from 11 August.
Phase 4: Virus no longer a significant threat. University and college campuses can reopen in full, mass gatherings are allowed. All workplaces open and public transport is back at full capacity.
Speaking on Wednesday, the first minister said that she would “continue to proceed in a cautious and phased way”.
She added: “The more we hammer down the virus now, the more normality we can ultimately get back in all aspects of our lives.”
Ms Sturgeon acknowledged that the latest easing measures will not immediately restore the economy to full health, but insisted they would be a “significant and sustainable improvement on our current position.”
The Scottish government, like its UK counterpart, has been facing calls to reduce the current 2m social distancing rule to make it easier for the hospitality and tourism industries to reopen.
There has been speculation that guidelines on wearing face coverings in public could be toughened.
People in Scotland are currently advised to cover their faces with a mask when they are in shops or on public transport – but it is not compulsory, and many people are choosing not to do so.
Schools in Scotland will remain closed to pupils until the new term begins on 11 August, but there has been widespread concern over the “blended” model that will be put in place when they do reopen.
It will see pupils doing a mixture of classroom and home learning, with individual councils deciding how it will work in their areas.
Some councils have already said they will only allow a third of pupils to attend school at the same time, meaning some pupils will only be in the classroom once a week.
Other councils have not yet decided how many days pupils will spend in the classroom, and it is not yet known how long it will be before schools fully reopen to all pupils.
This has led to fears of a postcode lottery, with pupils in different parts of the country getting different levels of teaching.
There has also been concern about the impact of part-time schooling on parents, and on pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.