As Scotland continues to deal with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, councils have been given the authority to introduce local lockdown restrictions and measures, in an effort to prevent a second country-wide lockdown.
Local restrictions are currently in place in five areas of Scotland following an increase of cases of Covid-19.
Which parts of Scotland are under lockdown?
Currently, five areas in Scotland are under local lockdown restrictions:
- East Dunbartonshire
- East Renfrewshire
- West Dunbartonshire
The Scottish government states that these local rules have been put in place as a result of an increase in Covid-19 cases in the West of Scotland. The restrictions are aimed at “limiting the changes for the virus to spread between households.”
What are the rules in these areas?
If you live in one of these affected areas, you should not:
- Host people from any other households in your home socially, unless they are in your extended household
- Make a social visit to people you do not live with in their home no matter where that it, unless they are in your extended household
In the eyes of the government, an extended household means the joining together of two households to form a single household.
People living in these areas can:
- Meet people outside, for example in your garden or in public spaces while maintaining social distancing (provided no more than six people from two households are present)
- Provide childcare in your home - for example to look after a grandchild, but you should take extra care with hygiene
- Travel in and out of the affected area, for example to go to work
- Go into someone’s house to provide essential care or support, such as delivering shopping - but you should be careful to follow good hygiene measures
- Attend a hospital appointment
- Meet people in cafes, pubs and restaurants, but try to ensure you stay in one place - follow the existing rules on eating and drinking out on maximum numbers and physical distancing
- Use self-catering accommodation in unaffected areas with your household group, but not with different household groups
People who are part of an extended household can continue to visit each other in their homes, regardless of where they live.
Care home visits are restricted to outdoors only, with a maximum of three people from no more than two households, and essential indoor visits.
Essential indoor visits in care homes can continue for end of life situations or exceptional circumstances, including those who are experiencing stress and distress.
Hospital visits are restricted to essential only, which includes:
- A birth partner supporting a woman during hospital visits
- A person receiving end of life care
- To support someone with a mental health issue such as dementia
- To accompany a child in a hospital
People who were previously shielding in these areas should take extra care to stay safe. The government says that it “is not asking people to start shielding again, but will keep this under review.”
Schools and early learning or childcare settings are not affected by these measures. If you are a student and are due to move into halls of residence, or other shared accommodation, you should still do this.
At this stage, no changes have been made to the operation of the likes of places of worship. However, this will remain under review.
Marriages and civil partnerships held indoors in private dwellings should not take place, but they can continue to take place outdoors or in indoor public spaces, in line with the general restriction that no more than 20 should attend.
You can still attend a funeral within the affected areas.
Workers and builders can continue to go into other people’s homes to carry out work such as repairs, installations and deliveries - this also includes services such as mobile hairdressers.
Professionals who offer services from their own home can continue to do so, with the appropriate safety measures in place.
You should only travel with members of your own or extended household when car sharing.
When will restrictions be reviewed?
The Scottish government website states that the restrictions for East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire were introduced at midnight on 1 September 2020 and will stay in place for an initial two week period. They will then be reviewed in seven days.
Restrictions in East Dunbartonshire were introduced for an initial two week period from midnight on 7 September, and will also be reviewed in seven days.
While Aberdeen was previously adhering to local lockdown rules, restrictions on travel, gathering and hospital and care home visits have now been lifted in the city. Those living in the area should now follow the general staying safe guidance, which you can find on the Scottish government website.
Restaurants, pubs, casinos and other hospitality premises in Aberdeen can reopen, subject to an assurance check.
Hospitality owners should get in touch with Aberdeen City Council if they have not already had an environmental health check. Businesses who have not yet had their assessment can provisionally open, so long as they have actively engaged with Aberdeen City Council to make arrangements for a check to be made.
How can I check what the rules are in my area?
As lockdown rules around the country can vary between areas, keeping up to date with the rules in your local area can be difficult.
You can check the Scottish government website to see what the local advice and measures are. You can also check this map issued by the Scottish government which displays the areas subject to local measures in Scotland.
Another way to keep up to date with what your local rules are is by using a website called Lockdown Api.
To use the website, all you need to do is enter your postcode, and it will check what the rules are for you, such as:
- Are non essential shops open?
- Can two households meet indoors?
- Can two households meet outdoors?
- Are pubs and restaurants open?
- Are gyms and fitness centres open?
While the website is not affiliated with the UK government, it uses data from the England, Scotland, Wale and Northern Ireland government websites to inform you about local lockdown restrictions.