In light of the ‘precarious and extremely serious’ situation in relation to Covid, The Scottish Government has increased some of the restrictions relating to takeaways and Click and Collect for shopping.

The weekly figure for new cases of Covid-19 reported each week has trebled since early December, mainly due to the new variant which now accounts for around 60 per cent of the new cases. This is, the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, explained, making it more difficult to get the R number back below 1 without making more severe restrictions.

She admitted that the latest lockdown introduced on 4 January is having an effect, but the total number of deaths under the daily measurement of people who tested positive in the last 28 days has now exceeded 5,000. Today the numbers of people who are in hospital or in ICU have again increased on a day to day basis. In the week to 7 January the number of people admitted to hospital in Scotland was 1,005 compared with 851 in the final week of December.

The new measures are: Nobody who lives in a Level 4 area should leave or remain outside their home except for essential purposes.

Working from home arrangements will be strengthened through updated statutory guidance. Working from home should now be the default position for all businesses and services, and only those who cannot do their job from home should be asked to go to the workplace. 

From Saturday non-essential click and collect retail services will be prohibited in Level 4 areas and further changes will be put in place to how services open for essential purposes operate. Timeslots will be required for collection and people should not enter a store to collect an item.  Businesses providing takeaway food will also operate on a ‘non-entry’ basis only, meaning customers cannot enter the premises when placing or collecting orders.

Restrictions banning the consumption of alcohol in public places will also be introduced.

In a statement to Parliament on Wednesday, Ms Sturgeon said: “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.”

Stay At Home Guidance

To minimise the risk of spreading the virus, you must stay at home as much as possible. By law, in a level 4 area, you can only leave your home (or garden) for an essential purpose.
There is a list of examples of reasonable excuses below. Although you can leave home for these purposes, you should stay as close to home as possible. Shop on-line or use local shops and services wherever you can. Travel no further than you need to reach to a safe, non-crowded place to exercise in a socially distanced way. To minimise the risk of spread of Coronavirus it is crucial that we all avoid unnecessary travel.
Examples of reasonable excuses to go out:
for work or an activity associated with seeking employment, or to provide voluntary or charitable services, but only where that cannot be done from your home.
for education including, school, college, university or other essential purposes connected with a course of study.
for essential shopping, including essential shopping for a vulnerable person. You should use online shopping or shops and other services in your immediate area wherever you can.
to obtain or deposit money, where it is not possible to do so from home.
for healthcare, including COVID-19 testing and vaccination.
for childcare or support services for parents or expectant parents.
for essential services, including services of a charitable or voluntary nature such as food banks, alcohol or drug support services.
to access public services where it is not possible to do so, including from home:
services provided to victims (such as victims of crime),
social-care services,
accessing day care centres,
services provided by the Department for Work and Pensions,
services provided to victims (including victims of crime),
asylum and immigration services and interviews,
waste or recycling services,
to provide care, assistance, support to or respite for a vulnerable person
to provide or receive emergency assistance.
to participate in or facilitate shared parenting.
to visit a person in an extended household.
to meet a legal obligation including satisfying bail conditions, to participate in legal proceedings, to comply with a court mandate in terms of sentence imposed or to register a birth.
for attendance at court including a remote jury centre, an inquiry, a children’s hearing, tribunal proceedings or to resolve a dispute via Alternative Dispute Resolution.
for essential animal welfare reasons, such as exercising or feeding a horse or going to a vet.
local outdoor recreation, sport or exercise, walking, cycling, golf, or running that starts and finishes at the same place (which can be up to 5 miles from the boundary of your local authority area) as long as you abide by the rules on meeting other households
to attend a marriage ceremony or registration of a civil partnership.
to attend a funeral or for compassionate reasons which relate to the end of a person’s life. This includes gatherings related to the scattering or interring of ashes, a stone setting ceremony and other similar commemorative events.
if you are a minister of religion or worship leader, for the purposes of leading an act of worship (broadcast or online), conducting a marriage or civil partnership ceremony or a funeral.
to donate blood.
for activities in connection with moving home (including viewing a property), or for activities in connection with the maintenance, purchase, sale, letting, or rental of residential property that the person owns or is otherwise responsible for. Travelling for the purposes of undertaking essential work on a property other than your main residence should not be used as a pretext for a holiday. You should not stay longer than for the length of time required to undertake the necessary work.
to avoid injury, illness or to escape a risk of harm.
for those involved in professional sports, for training, coaching or competing in an event.
to visit a person receiving treatment in a hospital, staying in a hospice or care home, or to accompany a person to a medical appointment.
to register or vote in a Scottish or UK Parliament, Local Government or overseas election or by-election, including on behalf of someone else by proxy
to visit a person detained in prison, young offenders institute, remand centre, secure accommodation or other place of detention.

Meeting Outdoors
You can only meet people from another household outdoors and in indoor public spaces for certain reasons, such as for work, to join your extended household, for sport, exercise, social interaction or to provide care and support for a vulnerable person. This can include providing emotional support for someone whose wellbeing is at risk, including for those who are isolated because of disability or a caring situation. Read Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for unpaid carers
Up to 2 people from 2 separate households can meet outdoors for sport, exercise or social interaction.
Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards the total number of people permitted to gather outdoors.
Children under 12 do not need to maintain physical distance from others indoors or outdoors.
The members of an individual or extended household can meet outdoors for sport, exercise or social interaction.
Those at a higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus (including those who had been shielding, people 70 and over, people who are pregnant and people with an underlying medical condition) should strictly follow the physical distancing guidance.