Scotland lockdown: the latest rules - and what could come next

Imposing the highest level of coronavirus restrictions on the west of Scotland is "under active consideration" by the Scottish Government. Deputy First Minister John Swinney has said level 3 restrictions have not significantly reduced the spread of the virus in areas like Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Lanarkshire, and the government will propose steps to address this to the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday. Scottish government officials warned business chiefs that level 4 restrictions could be in place for 12 local authority areas, and the rules would likely last for two weeks. Reports suggest that Nicola Sturgeon will reveal which areas of Scotland will move up to tier 4 this Tuesday, November 17, meaning some councils will face restrictions similar to those experienced in March in the run-up to Christmas.  Nicola Sturgeon introduced a five-level lockdown system, from 0-4, which came into force on Monday, November 2 but this is the first time an area would be subject to level 4 restrictions. Explaining how the government could address the prevalence of the virus in the central belt, Mr Swinney said: "That may include consideration of areas going up to level 4, the government would want to avoid that if we possibly can do but its certainly under active consideration." Level 4 restrictions would be almost as severe as the second national lockdown in England, with pubs and restaurants shut and non-essential travel-bans in place. Coronavirus cases have levelled off in some parts of Scotland due to tough restrictions, but ministers want to see a "significant and sustained" fall in numbers. 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. Jason Leitch, the Scottish Government's national clinical director, said he expected some form of coronavirus restrictions to still be in force in December across Scotland, meaning large family gatherings like Christmas are likely to be banned. Restrictions are due to be reviewed but Ms Sturgeon has said any changes are "highly unlikely." Ms Sturgeon is also examining a travel ban between Scotland and the north of England after backing cross-Border restrictions unveiled by the Welsh First Minister, Mark Drakeford. At present, travel is already discouraged between different regions of Scotland in tier 3 restrictions; however, people who travel to and from level 4 areas may face a £60 fine on the spot. These restrictions will impact commuters who travel from Lothians and Edinburgh, as many workers will be told to work from home, while their businesses close.  Ms Sturgeon said she "fully" supported a decision by Mr Drakeford to ban people from Covid-19 hotspots in the rest of the UK from travelling to Wales. 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 What are the new levels? The new five-level system sees Scottish council areas subject to different limitations based on the infection rate. Scotland as a whole is now 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 max

Scotland lockdown: the latest rules - and what could come next

Imposing the highest level of coronavirus restrictions on the west of Scotland is "under active consideration" by the Scottish Government.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney has said level 3 restrictions have not significantly reduced the spread of the virus in areas like Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Lanarkshire, and the government will propose steps to address this to the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday.

Scottish government officials warned business chiefs that level 4 restrictions could be in place for 12 local authority areas, and the rules would likely last for two weeks.

Reports suggest that Nicola Sturgeon will reveal which areas of Scotland will move up to tier 4 this Tuesday, November 17, meaning some councils will face restrictions similar to those experienced in March in the run-up to Christmas. 

Nicola Sturgeon introduced a five-level lockdown system, from 0-4, which came into force on Monday, November 2 but this is the first time an area would be subject to level 4 restrictions.

Explaining how the government could address the prevalence of the virus in the central belt, Mr Swinney said: "That may include consideration of areas going up to level 4, the government would want to avoid that if we possibly can do but its certainly under active consideration."

Level 4 restrictions would be almost as severe as the second national lockdown in England, with pubs and restaurants shut and non-essential travel-bans in place.

Coronavirus cases have levelled off in some parts of Scotland due to tough restrictions, but ministers want to see a "significant and sustained" fall in numbers.

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.

Jason Leitch, the Scottish Government's national clinical director, said he expected some form of coronavirus restrictions to still be in force in December across Scotland, meaning large family gatherings like Christmas are likely to be banned.

Restrictions are due to be reviewed but Ms Sturgeon has said any changes are "highly unlikely."

Ms Sturgeon is also examining a travel ban between Scotland and the north of England after backing cross-Border restrictions unveiled by the Welsh First Minister, Mark Drakeford.

At present, travel is already discouraged between different regions of Scotland in tier 3 restrictions; however, people who travel to and from level 4 areas may face a £60 fine on the spot. These restrictions will impact commuters who travel from Lothians and Edinburgh, as many workers will be told to work from home, while their businesses close. 

Ms Sturgeon said she "fully" supported a decision by Mr Drakeford to ban people from Covid-19 hotspots in the rest of the UK from travelling to Wales.

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

What are the new levels?

The new five-level system sees Scottish council areas subject to different limitations based on the infection rate.

Scotland as a whole is now 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 face being placed into near-full lockdowns, with restrictions on travel and instructions to stay at home.

Restrictions on socialising will remain the same as in level 3 areas, but non-essential shops and hospitality establishments will be closed without exception.

Hairdressers and other close contact services (for example, beauticians) will be closed.

Homeworking will be 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 be closed and outdoor sports will be restricted to non-contact games. However, professional sports will be allowed to continue.

Informal childcare will be permitted for the children of key workers, and formal childcare will be subjected to "targeted intervention".

Which areas are in which tier?

Nicola Sturgeon announced on October 29 which level of the new five-tiered system each council area will be operating from November 2 onwards: 

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

Five local authorities have been assigned to level 2:

  • Aberdeen
  • Aberdeenshire
  • Argyll & Bute
  • Scottish Borders
  • Dumfries & Galloway

Level 3

The vast majority of local authorities have been classified as level 3:

  • Fife
  • Angus
  • Perth & Kinross
  • Glasgow City
  • Renfrewshire
  • East Renfrewshire
  • East Dunbartonshire
  • West Dunbartonshire
  • East Ayrshire
  • North Ayrshire
  • South Ayrshire
  • South Lanarkshire
  • North Lanarkshire
  • Inverclyde
  • City of Edinburgh
  • Midlothian
  • East Lothian
  • West Lothian
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Falkirk
  • Stirling
  • Dundee

Level 4

No local authorities are in level 4. This is being reviewed on Tuesday 17 November.