Scotland to reopen castles, palaces

Edinburgh Castle

London: Over 200 historic and tourism sites in Scotland are to open Wednesday as part of a rolling programme to allow visitors to attractions closed in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES), Scotland’s biggest operator of visitor attractions, has announced it will provide access to over 200 unstaffed and key-keeper sites across Scotland where physical distancing can be maintained, Xinhua reported.

With over 300 properties in its care, the HES is adopting a phased approach to reopen 70 per cent of its free to access and ticketed properties by mid-September.  Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle and Urquhart Castle will reopen on 1 August

Visitors will have to pre-book tickets online and to use contactless payment where possible, with one-way systems implemented in some locations, according to the HES.

Meanwhile, Iran has recorded 2,521 new coronavirus cases and 179 deaths within the past 24 hours, the Ministry of Health and Medical Education said on Tuesday.

The total infection number and death toll rose to 262,173 and 13,211 respectively since the outbreak of disease in the country in February, said Sima Sadat Lari, the spokeswoman for the health ministry, during her daily briefing, Xinhua reported.

Among the new patients were 1,820 in hospital, according to Lari. So far, a total of 225,270 recoveries from the virus have been reported while 3,389 remain in critical condition, she said.

According to the health spokeswoman, 2,023,079 lab tests for Covid-19 have been carried out in Iran as of Tuesday.

Iran has made it mandatory to wear face masks in indoor public places as an effective way to prevent virus contraction. Iran announced its first cases of Covid-19 on 19 February.