A host of new Covid restrictions have come into force today in Scotland due to a rapidly spreading strain of Covid-19.
New measures have been brought into place in a bid to halt the spread of the new variant.
The new guidance will include changes to takeaway services, click and collect, working from home, changes to alcohol laws, having work carried out in your home and the “stay at home” regulations.
The new restrictions
Here are the new restrictions that come into force from today.
Working from home has become a default position for all businesses through statutory guidance and services, and only those who cannot do their job from home should go into a workplace.
People who live in a Level 4 area – currently all of mainland Scotland – should not leave or remain outside their home, except for essential purposes.
There will be further restrictions on takeaways. Businesses will have to operate from a serving hatch or doorway, and you will not be permitted to go inside a hospitality business.
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It will be against the law in all level four areas of Scotland to drink alcohol outdoors in public.
Guidance previously issued to only allow essential work to be undertaken inside people’s homes has also been placed into law.
Essential services – including clothing and footwear stores, homeware stores, garden centres/plant nurseries, baby equipment shops, electrical goods (including repairs), key cutting and shoe repair shops, and bookstores – can continue to offer click-and-collect services, but must operate with timeslots.
Why are the new rules in place?
Many of the new rules have seen the tightening of restrictions or further reinforcement in law.
The news are in place tin response to what Nicola Sturgeon dubbed an “extremely serious” situation, further measures have been brought in to stop the spread of coronavirus and limit non-essential contact.
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In a statement to Parliament, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Wednesday: “The situation we face in relation to the virus remains extremely serious.
“We must continue to do everything possible to reduce case numbers – this is essential to relieve the pressure on our NHS and to save lives.
“Both individually and collectively, these additional measures – in further reducing the interactions that allow the virus to spread – will help our essential efforts to suppress it.
“At this critical and dangerous moment, please: Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.”