New rules on travelling between council areas and people meeting outdoors have come into force as lockdown restrictions continue to be eased.
The Scottish government said the changes were designed to help reunite families and close friends.
It will now be possible to travel out of your local area for non-essential reasons and for six people from up to six households to meet up outdoors.
The relaxation had not been due to come into force until 26 April.
But the government said the changes were being made earlier in an effort to boost people’s mental health and wellbeing.
However, significant restrictions remain in place.
People cannot stay overnight outside their council area – even in a tent or caravan.
And the advice remains to shop within your own council area unless there are no practical alternatives.
While six people can meet up outdoors, the guidance is to minimise meetings, maintain 2m distance and “use common sense”.
Mountaineering Scotland has welcomed the relaxations but urged people heading for the hills this weekend to make sure they are properly prepared and ready to be flexible in their plans.
Popular destinations are expected to be very busy, meaning walkers and climbers travelling by car may have to set off early or consider going elsewhere.
Mountaineering Scotland’s Stuart Younie said: “The last 12 months have demonstrated how important outdoor recreation is for our physical and mental wellbeing and as things start to ease it will play an important role in our economic recovery, particularly in rural areas.”
There was a rush of visitors to the Stirling area when lockdown restrictions were eased last summer, which the local council said resulted in “significant issues with illegal parking and littering”.
Ahead of the latest easing, Stirling Council chief executive Carol Beattie said: “There’s every chance this weekend will be the busiest of the year so far and we really need people to be responsible for their actions.
“Our car parks and public toilets will be open, but our strong message to those planning to visit the area is: plan ahead, and if it’s already busy, Stirling will still be here for you to visit another time.”
The next significant easing of restrictions on 26 April should see all shops and some hospitality reopen.
At that point, someone visiting a friend in another part of the country will be able choose to book into a hotel or bed and breakfast for the night.
All remaining shops and close contact services like nail salons are also due to reopen on 26 April.
Pubs, bars, cafés, restaurants and bars will be able to serve people outdoors – in groups of up to six from six households – until 22:00 from that date.
Alcohol will be permitted, and there will be no requirement for food to be served.
Takeaways will be able to resume normal service, with physical distancing and face masks worn in premises
There will also be a partial resumption of indoor hospitality, with food and non-alcoholic drinks being served until 20:00 for groups of up to four people from no more than two households.