Scotland’s new lockdown: Key points as restrictions are introduced

Mainland Scotland will be placed in lockdown from Tuesday after the new strain of coronavirus led to a spike in cases.

The new restrictions apply throughout January in all Level 4 areas of the Scottish Government’s five-tier system.

Only Shetland, Orkney, Western Isles and several other islands are currently in a different level – Level 3.

The new rules are:

From Tuesday:

Scots are now legally required to stay at home except for essential purposes.

Worshippers in church
Worshippers in church

These include essential shopping, exercise, caring responsibilities and being part of an extended household.

Anyone able to work from home must do so. Businesses are being asked to “look again at their operations” to facilitate this. Anyone who is shielding should not go into work even if they cannot work from home.

No more than two people from two separate households can meet outdoors.

Indoor meetings are already banned in Level 4 areas, with some exceptions such as extended households.

Children aged 11 and under will not be counted in that limit and can play outdoors in larger groups.

Unlike in the spring lockdown, the frequency of outdoor exercise is not being limited.

Travel restrictions remain in place and people cannot travel out of their local authority area, with some exceptions.

Other Level 4 restrictions – including closure of bars, restaurants, cafes, gyms and hairdressers – remain.

Our message to Scotland is to #StayAtHome.

You should now only leave the house for essential reasons like:

✔ Getting food or medicines✔ Any medical need✔ Exercise

By following these rules you’re saving lives.


— Scottish Government (@scotgov) January 4, 2021

From Friday:

Places of worship must close but can open to broadcast a service or conduct a funeral, wedding or civil partnership.

A maximum of 20 people can attend a funeral service but wakes are banned.

Up to five people can attend weddings and civil partnership services.

Ski centres, showrooms of larger retailers and clinics offering cosmetic and aesthetic procedures must also close.

The current one-metre exemption for social distancing in workplace canteens will end. Canteens will have to ensure that employees sit two metres or more apart.

Until February 1:

Schools and nurseries must remain closed throughout January.

Exceptions will be made for vulnerable children and children of key workers.

Schools had been set to remain closed – with remote learning – until January 18.

That date will now be extended until the end of the month, with a review of the situation to take place in two weeks.