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

More than two million Scots have again been plunged into lockdown. The strict regulations will remain in place for the next three weeks.

Nicola Sturgeon unveiled the Level 4 restrictions – which came into force on November 20 – in Parliament on Tuesday, November 17. The First Minister had announced that 11 local authority areas across central and western Scotland, including Glasgow, will enter the highest tier restrictions, which will end on until December 11. 

The First Minister suggested a "limited period" of the strictest measures – moving from Level 3 to Level 4 – could allow an easing around Christmas. The Prime Minister is currently preparing to announce a UK-wide relaxation of rules from December 22 to 28, allowing several families to join in one "bubble". 

"Stubbornly high prevalence means that we might have less flexibility to offer some limited and careful easing of restrictions over the Christmas period which we are very keen to do," she said.

"Moving to Level 4 restrictions for a limited period in some areas, while not a decision we would ever take lightly because of the wider economic and social impact, would help us to address both of these concerns."

In an echo of March’s lockdown, the councils’ 2.3 million residents – more than 40 per cent of Scotland’s population – will be advised to stay home "as much as possible".

Non-essential shops, businesses, pubs, restaurants and gyms will shut their doors for a second time this year. Schools  will remain open despite opposition from the country’s largest teaching union.  

Scotland has its own lockdown rules, and in a further blow to the country's hospitality industry, pubs and restaurants are set to face significant further restrictions under the newly revealed plans

The Level 4 restrictions will be imposed in East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire, North and South Lanarkshire, East and South Ayrshire, Stirling and West Lothian.

Ms Sturgeon also said a current travel ban will become law from November 20. This means around four million Scots in Level 3 and 4 face fines for venturing outside their council areas.

On Friday, November 13, Fife, Angus, Perth and Kinross moved up to level 3, whilst indoor household meetings between up to six people from two households were allowed again in Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles.

East Lothian and Midlothian will move from Level 3 to 2 next Tuesday, November 24, following a "marked decline" in cases, allowing pubs and restaurants to serve alcohol with meals and their residents to travel to Level 1 and 2 areas. Restrictions in Scotland’s 19 other council areas were unchanged.

Ms Sturgeon argued the crackdown would "give us the best possible chance" of easing restrictions across the whole of Scotland for Christmas "in a limited or careful way". This included "the possibility of seeing some loved ones at Christmas".

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.

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

Five local authorities are subject to level 1 restrictions:

  • Highland
  • Moray
  • Orkney
  • Shetland
  • Western Isles

Level 2

Seven local authorities have been assigned to level 2, and East Lothian and Mid Lothian will move from Level 3 to 2 next Tuesday, November 24:

  • Aberdeen
  • Aberdeenshire
  • Argyll & Bute
  • East Lothian
  • Mid Lothian
  • Scottish Borders
  • Dumfries & Galloway

Level 3

9 local authorities are classified as level 3:

  • Fife
  • Angus 
  • Perth & Kinross
  • North Ayrshire
  • Inverclyde
  • City of Edinburgh
  • Clackmannanshire 
  • Falkirk
  • Dundee 

Level 4

 11 local authorities moved into Tier 4 

  • City of Glasgow 
  • Renfrewshire 
  • East Renfrewshire
  • East Dunbartonshire 
  • West Dunbartonshire 
  • North Lanarkshire 
  • South Lanarkshire 
  • East Ayrshire 
  • South Ayrshire 
  • Stirling 
  • West Lothian 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *