Fresh lockout laws in Scotland: description of Covid’s restrictions

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To stop the further spread of the latest strain of coronavirus, the Scottish mainland has returned to lockdown until at least the end of January.

On Monday afternoon, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon revealed the new laws. The new restrictions took effect in all of the country’s Level 4 areas at midnight tonight and will continue throughout the month.

Ms. Sturgeon said in a speech at Holyrood, “I can now confirm in summary that we have decided to introduce a legal requirement to stay at home, except for essential purposes, from tomorrow for the duration of January. This is similar to the lockdown in March last year.”

“In fact, it’s not an exaggeration to say that I’m more concerned about the situation we face now than I have been at any time since March of last year.” the First Minister added.

This is what you can and can’t do here:

Am I allowed to meet in a house?

You should only visit another person’s home for such reasons, such as to do required work, to enter your extended household, or to provide care and help for a needy person.

This could involve providing an individual whose well-being is at risk, or those who are separated because of a disability or care circumstance, with emotional support.

Children under 12 years of age do not qualify for the total number of people permitted to assemble indoors and are not expected to maintain a physical distance from other people indoors.

Is it possible to meet outside or in public places?

Similar to indoor meetings, you should only meet people from another household outside and in indoor public areas for particular purposes, such as for work, for joining your extended household, for sports, exercise, social contact, or to care for and assist a disabled individual.

This could involve providing those whose well-being is at risk, or those who are separated because of a disability or care situation, with emotional support.

Effective Jan. 5, for sports, exercise or social activity, only two persons from two different households can meet outdoors.

The total number of people permitted to assemble outside will not include children under 12 years of age from these households.

Spacing rules should be strictly followed by people at higher risk for severe coronavirus disease (including those who have been screened, people over the age of 70, pregnant women, and people with underlying disease).

Am I able to travel?

By statute, unless you have a valid excuse, you should not leave your home or yard.

The travel restrictions allow you, if you have a “reasonable excuse” for required travel, to leave your home in a Level 4 area and travel between Level 3 and 4 areas.

You should remain as close to home as possible, even though you can fly for these purposes.

The exceptions differ on a case-by-case basis, as they are based on the wider limits of that level.

This include school travel, required shopping, health caring, care for children, casual exercise, or caregiving. Click here for a full list of the exemptions.

Is there public transportation I can take?

For required journeys, you can use public transportation.

However, unless you are exempt and comply with applicable physical distance measurements, you must wear face coverings by statute.

You can not join or exit Scotland either.

Am I supposed to work from home?

Wherever possible, it is highly advised that you work from home.

Are schools remaining open?

From 5 to 29 January, schools will be open only to the children of key staff and vulnerable children; distance learning will be accessible for all other children and young people from 11 to 29 January.

What for universities and colleges?

With a small mix of face-to-face and distance learning, colleges and universities will run.

Is it possible to get a take-out meal?

Yes, however there will continue to be pubs and restaurants closed for food service.

Takeaways would be permitted for alcohol and food as before, but after alcohol/food is sold, operators should be careful not to allow congregations to form near their establishment.

Exceptions for clinics, schools, student dormitories, airport premises, and hotel room service

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