Natasha Gordon, GCVS Employer Services Manager, has provided a helpful summary of all main changes announced by the First Minister.
Following the recent surge in COVID cases across the UK, the Scottish Government have just announced significant changes to existing restrictions. In addition to people being urged to work from home where possible, the First Minister announced the following:
- A ban on visiting other people’s homes is to be imposed across Scotland from Wednesday 23rd September in a bid to get the virus under control again before winter.
- Scotland would be following England in imposing a 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants. The curfew will be in place from Friday, 25th September any premises which do not comply could be shut down completely.
Indoor and outdoor gatherings in Scotland were restricted to six people from two households two weeks ago. However, the number of people testing positive for the virus has continued to increase since then – with the average number of new cases every day now reaching 285, compared to only seven a day in July. The first minister said hospital and intensive care admissions were also starting to rise, with more older people testing positive
Restrictions on visiting other households will be reviewed every three weeks – and will “not necessarily” be in place for as long as six months, as some reports have suggested. In addition, some exceptions apply to the new restrictions, which enable care and assistance for some groups to continue and for some social contact:
- There will be exceptions for those living alone, or alone with children, who form extended households.
- The rules will also not apply to couples who do not live together, or for the provision of informal care/childcare.
- Meetings in public indoor settings – such as pubs and restaurants – will continue to be limited to a maximum of six people from two households.
- Up to six people from two different households can continue to meet outdoors, including in private gardens.
- Children under the age of 12 will be exempt from both the limit of six and the limit of two households if they are meeting outside.
- Young people aged between 12 to 18 will be exempt from the two household limit – so will be able to meet outdoors in groups of up to six.
The rules also do not apply to tradespeople.
The option of a so-called “circuit breaker” – a short period of nationwide lockdown – is under review.
- People should not to book overseas travel for the October break “unless it is absolutely essential”.
- People have been advised against car sharing with people outside their own household.
This announcement has been made as the UK’s Covid-19 alert level moved to 4, meaning the virus is “high or rising exponentially”.