First minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced changes to Scotland’s lockdown restrictions, which will be enforced from Saturday 16 January.

Some of the key areas affected by the new restrictions include:

  • Click and collect services: Non-essential click and collect retail services will be prohibited in Level 4 areas. Essential retailers that can continue to offer click and collect services include those selling footwear, clothes, baby equipment, books, homewares and electrical goods, with key-cutting and shoe-repair shops and garden centres also allowed to continue click and collect. Permitted businesses will be required to offer time slots for collection, and customers should not enter a store to collect an item.

  • Takeaway services: Businesses providing takeaway food will operate on a ‘non-entry’ basis only, meaning customers cannot enter the premises when placing or collecting orders, but should instead do so from a doorway or hatch.

  • Working from home: Statutory guidance will be updated to state that working from home should be the default position for all businesses and services, and only those who cannot do their job from home should visit their workplace. The decision to work from home is currently a legal obligation that falls on individuals: the new guidance is intended to make it clear that employers should support their staff to work from home wherever possible.

Further new rules include the banning of alcohol consumption in public places and the limiting of access by tradespeople to homes for non-essential home maintenance. Last, Sturgeon announced an amendment to the regulations requiring people to stay at home; the amendment will clarify that people “must not leave or remain outside” the home other than for essential purposes.

We must continue to do everything possible to reduce case numbers

Nicola Sturgeon, first minister

Commenting on the new restrictions, 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.”

These restriction are in addition to the strengthening of Level 4 restrictions announced by Sturgeon earlier in January in response to rising coronavirus cases in Scotland. Full details of Scotland’s lockdown rules can be found here.

Earlier this week, the Scottish government announced one-off top-up grants for hospitality, retail and leisure firms impacted by level 4 restrictions, on top of existing grants made via the Strategic Framework Business Fund. Full details of the top-up grants are available at Gov.Scot.

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