Changes to Scotland’s lockdown restrictions have been announced. The tightening of the rules follows concerns the “stay at home” message is not having the same impact it did during last year’s lockdown. The changes will come into effect on Saturday.
1. Click and collect
The availability and operation of click and collect services will be limited to retailers selling essential items such as clothes, footwear, baby equipment, homeware and books.
For click and collect services that are allowed, staggered appointments will need to be offered to avoid any potential for queuing, and access inside premises for collection will not be permitted.
2. Takeaway services
Customers in Scotland will no longer be allowed to go inside to collect takeaway food or coffee. Businesses will have to operate from a serving hatch or doorway.
The aim is to reduce the risk of customers coming into contact indoors with each other, or with staff.
3. Alcohol consumption
It will be against the law in all level four areas of Scotland to drink alcohol outdoors in public.
This will mean that buying a takeaway pint and drinking it outdoors will not be permitted.
It is intended to underline the message that people should only be leaving home for essential purposes.
4. Working from home
The Scottish government is strengthening the obligation on employers to allow their staff to work from home whenever possible.
The law already says that people should only be leaving home to go to work if it is work that cannot be done from home. This is a legal obligation that falls on individuals.
However, statutory guidance is being introduced to make clear that employers should support employees to work from home wherever possible.
5. Home maintenance
The Scottish government is strengthening provisions in relation to work inside people’s houses.
Current guidance says that in level four areas work is only permitted within a private dwelling if it is essential for the upkeep, maintenance and functioning of the household. This guidance is now being put into law.
6. Stay at home message
The final change is an amendment to the regulations requiring people to stay at home.
This is intended to close an apparent loophole rather than change the spirit of the law. It will also bring the wording of the stay at home regulations in Scotland into line with the other UK nations.
Currently the law states that people can only leave home for an essential purpose.
The amendment will make it clear that people “must not leave or remain outside” the home unless it is for an essential purpose.
The Scottish government’s full lockdown guidance is available here.