Scotland lockdown: what are the new Covid rules and Tier 4 restrictions? – The Telegraph

What about Christmas?

The five day relaxation of lockdown over Christmas has been scrapped due to concerns over a rise in cases. The First Minister announced on Dec 19 that a maximum of eight people from three households can mix on Christmas Day only. The travel ban will also be temporarily lifted on December 25.

The emergency address followed talks with the first ministers of Wales, Northern Ireland and Micheal Gove, and England and Wales are facing similar restrictions over Christmas. 

The meeting comes after scientists called on the government to review plans to allow households to mix over Christmas, after a surge in coronavirus cases.

Ahead of the meeting, she said: “I do think there is a case for us looking at whether we tighten the flexibilities that were given any further both in terms of duration and numbers of people meeting.

“And I will consider the views of the other nations – if we can come to a four nations agreement I think that would be preferable.

“If that is not possible then of course we will consider within the Scottish Government what we think is appropriate.”

Ms Sturgeon added: “If you can avoid mixing with other households over Christmas, especially indoors, please do.

“But if you feel it essential to do so – and we have tried to be pragmatic in recognising that some people will – then please reduce your unnecessary contacts as much as possible between now and then.

Scotland diverged from the UK-wide coronavirus Christmas plan within 24 hours of it being announced.

If people feel it is “essential” to meet with others indoors, she said this should be for one day only and not overnight.

On November 26, the Scottish Government set a cap of eight people over 12 years old for Christmas gatherings. They also emphasised that households should remain two meters apart whilst inside. 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also suggested that families give each other vouchers for Christmas, for health and economic reasons, and warned that on Thursday she will tighten Christmas restrictions around the edges. 

As it stands, three households may meet indoors, outdoors or in a place of worship at Christmas, so long as they do not meet with any others and do not meet together in pubs, restaurants and entertainment venues.

Hugging will be permitted, care home residents under the age of 65 can visit relatives, and Christmas church services may be held.

Can I travel to Scotland after lockdown?

Under Scottish regulations you must not travel between Scotland and the rest of the UK unless you have a reasonable excuse, such as for work, education or essential shopping.

These rules, which will be kept under review, mean you still cannot travel to Scotland for non-essential reasons now the lockdown has ended in England.

Other exceptions include travel for healthcare, childcare or shared parenting, and a full list can be found on the Scottish Government website.

What are the new levels?

The five-level system sees Scottish council areas subject to different limitations based on the infection rate.

Scotland as a whole is subject to general rules, such as remote working where possible, mandatory masks on public transport, and a ban on non-essential travel to or from level 3+ areas.

Level 0 (low)

Level 0 will see the most lenient restrictions applied to low-risk areas in Scotland.

Indoor household mixing will be permitted in homes and public places up to a maximum of eight people from three households. Socialising will be permitted outdoors up to a maximum of 15 people from five households.

Hospitality venues will be permitted to open at normal licensing times, although social distancing rules will still apply. 

Hotel-stays will be permitted. However, non-essential travel to/from level 3+ areas in the UK will be prohibited.

Non-essential shops, hairdressers, cinemas and libraries will remain open.

Gyms will remain open and all sports will be permitted.

Weddings, funerals and places of worship will be limited to a maximum of 50 people.

Outdoor and indoor events will be permitted with restricted numbers with the exception of indoor grouped standing events.

Level 1

Indoor household mixing will be prohibited, barring exceptions such as caring duties. Socialising will be permitted outdoors and in public places up to a limit of six people from two households.

Indoor and outdoor hospitality establishments will remain open until 10.30pm (9.30pm last entry).

Hotel stays will be permitted. However, non-essential travel to/from level 3+ areas in the UK will be prohibited.

Non-essential shops, hairdressers, cinemas and libraries will remain open.

Gyms will remain open and all sports will be permitted, with the exception of indoor contact sports played by over-18s.

Weddings and funerals will be limited to a maximum of 20 people and places of worship will be restricted to a maximum of 50 people.

Seated indoor/outdoor events will be permitted with restricted numbers, but grouped standing events will not be permitted. 

Level 2

Restrictions on socialising will remain unchanged from level 1.

Indoor hospitality establishments will close at 8pm (7pm last entry) and alcohol may only be served with a main meal. Outdoor hospitality venues may remain open until 10.30pm (9.30pm last entry).

Hotel stays will be permitted, but non-essential travel to/from level 3+ areas in the UK will be prohibited.

Non-essential shops, hairdressers, cinemas and libraries will remain open.

Gyms will remain open and all sports will be permitted, with the exception of indoor contact sports played by over-18s.

Weddings and funerals will be limited to a maximum of 20 people and places of worship will be restricted to a maximum of 50 people.

Level 3

Restrictions on socialising will remain unchanged from level 2, but the maximum number of people at weddings, funerals and religious ceremonies will be capped at 20.

There will be further limits on public venues with closures of cinemas, arcades and bingo halls. Drive-in events will also be banned.

Hospitality establishments will be prohibited from selling alcohol and will close at 6pm (last entry at 5pm). Non-essential shops and hairdressers will remain open.

Gyms will remain open but indoor exercise will be limited to individual workouts. Outdoor exercise will be limited to non-contact sport with the exception of under-18s. Professional sport will continue.

Hotel-stays will be permitted where essential. Non-essential hotel stays will be permitted for locals only.  

Level 4 (very high)

Scots in areas with severe Covid-19 outbreaks will be placed into near-full lockdowns, with restrictions on travel and instructions to stay at home.

Restrictions on socialising remain the same as in level 3 areas, but Ms Sturgeon advised people to stay at home as much as possible. 

Non-essential shops and hospitality establishments will closed without exception.

Hairdressers and other close contact services (for example, beauticians) will close.

Homeworking is advised for all sectors with the exception of essential work, outdoor work, construction and manufacturing jobs.

Non-essential travel into or out of level 4 areas will be prohibited and public transport should only be used when essential.

Gyms will close and outdoor sports will be restricted to non-contact games. However, professional sports are allowed to continue.

Informal childcare is permitted for the children of key workers, and formal childcare will be subjected to “targeted intervention”.

As of Friday, December 11, no local authorities are under level 4 restrictions.

Which areas are in which tier?

The five-tier system assigns a level of restrictions in each of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas from zero to four.

Level 0

No local authorities will be in level 0 (the most lenient tier) from November 2.

Level 1

Seven local authorities are subject to level 1 restrictions:

  • Highland
  • Moray
  • Orkney
  • Shetland
  • Western Isles
  • Scottish Borders
  • Dumfries & Galloway

Level 2

Seven local authorities have been assigned to level 2:

  • Aberdeen
  • Aberdeenshire
  • Argyll & Bute
  • East Lothian
  • Midlothian

Level 3

20 local authorities are classified as level 3:

  • Fife
  • Angus 
  • Perth & Kinross
  • North Ayrshire
  • Inverclyde
  • City of Edinburgh
  • Clackmannanshire 
  • Falkirk
  • Dundee
  • City of Glasgow 
  • Renfrewshire 
  • East Renfrewshire
  • East Dunbartonshire 
  • West Dunbartonshire 
  • North Lanarkshire 
  • South Lanarkshire 
  • East Ayrshire 
  • South Ayrshire 
  • Stirling 
  • West Lothian 

Level 4

As of 6pm on December 11 there are no local authorities in level 4.