I KNOW many will be pleased that we are moving into phase two of easing lockdown.

The Scottish Government has released new guidance to help us, using the acronym FACTS. This stands for:

F – Face coverings in enclosed spaces

A – Avoid crowded places

C – Clean hands and surfaces regularly

T – Two-metre distancing

S – Self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms.

It’s important to note that face coverings don’t necessarily have to be a mask – you can also use an item such as a scarf that can cover your nose and mouth.

Phase two will also allow for those who are shielding to have a bit more freedom.

While it is still important that those shielding are cautious and take additional steps to minimise chances of catching Covid-19, they are now welcome to exercise outdoors and will also be able to do non-contact outdoor activities such as golf and hiking.

The message is now: Stay Safe, Protect Others, Save Lives.

We should be mindful of the consequences our actions can have, and enjoy our freedoms but remain aware of those more vulnerable than ourselves.

The virus has not gone yet and we still need to follow the guidelines in place regarding distancing and hygiene.

Loneliness Awareness Week has just passed and Age Scotland has launched a scheme called Friendship Calls to help those who are older and feel lonely.

Even if you just fancy a chat, they are there to listen and make sure you feel supported.

Everyone deserves to have someone they can talk to so they don’t feel so isolated.

If you are elderly you can talk to someone at Age Scotland by calling 0800 12 44 222.

You can also pass this number on to others who may need it; and together we can make sure that, even through the pandemic, older people aren’t alone.