New Restrictions Monday 4th January 2021
Coronavirus (COVID-19): stay at home guidance
Published: 4 Jan 2021
- Part of:
- Coronavirus in Scotland
Guidance on new stay at home regulations coming into effect on 5 January 2021.
- 4 Jan 2021
Coronavirus (COVID-19): stay at home guidance from: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/
Stay at Home
To minimise the risk of spreading the virus, you must stay at home as much as possible. By law, in a level 4 area, you can only leave your home (or garden) for an essential purpose.
There is a list of examples of reasonable excuses below. Although you can leave home for these purposes, you should stay as close to home as possible. Shop on-line or use local shops and services wherever you can. Travel no further than you need to reach to a safe, non-crowded place to exercise in a socially distanced way. To minimise the risk of spread of Coronavirus it is crucial that we all avoid unnecessary travel.
Examples of reasonable excuses to go out:
- for work or an activity associated with seeking employment, or to provide voluntary or charitable services, but only where that cannot be done from your home.
- for education including, school, college, university or other essential purposes connected with a course of study.
- for essential shopping, including essential shopping for a vulnerable person. You should use online shopping or shops and other services in your immediate area wherever you can.
- to obtain or deposit money, where it is not possible to do so from home.
- for healthcare, including COVID-19 testing and vaccination.
- for childcare or support services for parents or expectant parents.
- for essential services, including services of a charitable or voluntary nature such as food banks, alcohol or drug support services.
- to access public services where it is not possible to do so, including from home:
- services provided to victims (such as victims of crime),
- social-care services,
- accessing day care centres,
- services provided by the Department for Work and Pensions,
- services provided to victims (including victims of crime),
- asylum and immigration services and interviews,
- waste or recycling services,
- to provide care, assistance, support to or respite for a vulnerable person
- to provide or receive emergency assistance.
- to participate in or facilitate shared parenting.
- to visit a person in an extended household.
- to meet a legal obligation including satisfying bail conditions, to participate in legal proceedings, to comply with a court mandate in terms of sentence imposed or to register a birth.
- for attendance at court including a remote jury centre, an inquiry, a children’s hearing, tribunal proceedings or to resolve a dispute via Alternative Dispute Resolution.
- for essential animal welfare reasons, such as exercising or feeding a horse or going to a vet.
- local outdoor recreation, sport or exercise, walking, cycling, golf, or running that starts and finishes at the same place (which can be up to 5 miles from the boundary of your local authority area) as long as you abide by the rules on meeting other households
- to attend a marriage ceremony or registration of a civil partnership.
- to attend a funeral or for compassionate reasons which relate to the end of a person’s life. This includes gatherings related to the scattering or interring of ashes, a stone setting ceremony and other similar commemorative events.
- if you are a minister of religion or worship leader, for the purposes of leading an act of worship (broadcast or online), conducting a marriage or civil partnership ceremony or a funeral.
- to donate blood.
- for activities in connection with moving home (including viewing a property), or for activities in connection with the maintenance, purchase, sale, letting, or rental of residential property that the person owns or is otherwise responsible for. Travelling for the purposes of undertaking essential work on a property other than your main residence should not be used as a pretext for a holiday. You should not stay longer than for the length of time required to undertake the necessary work.
- to avoid injury, illness or to escape a risk of harm.
- for those involved in professional sports, for training, coaching or competing in an event.
- to visit a person receiving treatment in a hospital, staying in a hospice or care home, or to accompany a person to a medical appointment.
- to register or vote in a Scottish or UK Parliament, Local Government or overseas election or by-election, including on behalf of someone else by proxy
- to visit a person detained in prison, young offenders institute, remand centre, secure accommodation or other place of detention.
Close allsectionsMeeting others indoors in someone's home
You can go into another person’s house only for certain reasons, such as for essential work, to join your extended household or to provide care and support for a vulnerable person. This can include providing emotional support for someone whose wellbeing is at risk, including for those who are isolated because of disability or a caring situation. Read Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for unpaid carers.
Children under the age of 12 do not count towards the total number of people permitted to gather indoors.
Children under 12 do not need to maintain physical distance from others indoors.
Meeting others outdoors and in indoor public spaces
You can only meet people from another household outdoors and in indoor public spaces for certain reasons, such as for work, to join your extended household, for sport, exercise, social interaction or to provide care and support for a vulnerable person. This can include providing emotional support for someone whose wellbeing is at risk, including for those who are isolated because of disability or a caring situation. Read Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for unpaid carers
Up to 2 people from 2 separate households can meet outdoors for sport, exercise or social interaction.
Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards the total number of people permitted to gather outdoors.
Children under 12 do not need to maintain physical distance from others indoors or outdoors.
The members of an individual or extended household can meet outdoors for sport, exercise or social interaction.
Those at a higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus (including those who had been shielding, people 70 and over, people who are pregnant and people with an underlying medical condition) should strictly follow the physical distancing guidance.
Going into someone else’s home
If you are meeting people from another household in their garden, you should only go into their house if necessary to:
- access the garden – do so quickly and without touching anything
- use the toilet – avoid touching surfaces with your hands as much as possible, wipe any surfaces that you do touch with antibacterial wipes, wash your hands thoroughly, dry your hands with a freshly laundered towel or a paper towel, which you should dispose of in a closed bin.
If members of another household are going to visit you outside and might need to use your toilet, you should ensure appropriate cleaning materials are available. You should also provide either a hand towel for each visiting household or paper towels and a safe disposal option.
People who live in different places can form an “extended household” in the following circumstances:
People who live alone
If you are an adult and you live alone, or if all others in your household are under 18, you, any children who live with you, and the members of one other household (of any size) can agree to form an 'extended household'. This will allow people who live alone (or those living only with children under the age of 18) to be considered part of another household in order to reduce loneliness, isolation and to provide mutual social support.
Couples who do not live together
If two adults are in a relationship and they do not live together, they, and any children they each live with, can agree to form an 'extended household'.
However, if one member of a household gets coronavirus, there is a strong likelihood that other members of that household will also catch it. For this reason, there are some important rules that extended households should follow to remain as safe as possible:
- a household must not form an extended household with more than one other household
- households can end the arrangement at any time, but should not then form an extended household with a new household for at least a 14-day period.
All the adults living in both households should agree to form the extended household. We also encourage parents or guardians to involve their children in discussions. Forming an extended household is an important decision that should be properly discussed and agreed beforehand. Physical distancing between members of an extended household is not required.
Once two households have agreed to form an extended household, they may meet outdoors or indoors, visit and stay at each other’s homes, and do everything that people in other households can do, such as watch TV, share a meal and look after each other’s children.
Members of an extended household are considered to be one household for the legal requirements on meeting other households and going outside, and for the guidance in this document about seeing friends and family and about exercise and leisure activity.
If someone in the extended household develops COVID-19 symptoms, to avoid spreading the virus all members of the extended household must isolate immediately if they met the symptomatic person at any time between 2 days before and up to 10 days after their symptoms started.
If the symptomatic person tests positive, all members of their direct household must isolate for 10 days from the start of symptoms. Similarly, other members of the extended household must isolate for 10 days from when the most recent contact took place. Isolate means staying in your own home for the full 10 days.
Read more: Test and Protect: self-solation guidance
Those at a higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus (including people over 70, people who are pregnant and people with an underlying medical condition) may take part in an extended household arrangement, but should strictly follow the handwashing, surface cleaning and respiratory hygiene guidance on the NHS Inform website.
Where parents do not live in the same household, children can move between their parents’ homes, this includes both supervised and unsupervised contact.
- Shared parenting during coronavirus on Parent Club
- Update to guidance on compliance with court orders relating to parental responsibilities and rights on Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service website.
Restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars are closed. Sectors guidance is at: sector guidance for tourism and hospitality
Takeaways can still operate as normal, providing food is sold for consumption off premises. Face coverings and physical distancing rules must be followed.
Hotels and other accommodation providers can still serve food to qualifying guests i.e. keyworkers staying in their premises up to 22:00. Room service, including alcohol, is allowed as normal.
All holiday accommodation is closed to tourism. Hotels, B&Bs and self-catering can remain open for essential customers only:
- anyone who is using that accommodation for work purposes
- anyone who requires accommodation to attend a funeral
- anyone who is providing accommodation or support services to the homeless
- anyone who uses that accommodation as their main residence
- anyone who needs accommodation while moving home
- anyone who is unable to return to their main residence
- anyone who requires accommodation to attend a marriage ceremony or civil partnership registration
- anyone who requires accommodation to participate in or facilitate shared parenting arrangements
When providing accommodation to workers, this should only be open for essential workers who require accommodation as part of their role. Workers accommodation guidance.
Providers may offer accommodation to customers in circumstances other than those detailed above, provided it is for an essential purpose. An example of this would be where someone needs accommodation for an essential hospital visit.
In line with Competition and Markets Authority guidance, a full refund should be offered to customers who booked holiday homes, but could not stay in them due to lockdown restrictions. The regulation of consumer protection is the responsibility of the UK Government at Westminster. The Competition and Markets Authority has issued guidance to businesses and consumers about refunds.
Travel and transport
Only essential retail will be able to remain open providing they follow and have implemented Scottish Government guidance to ensure the safety of customers and staff.
Adults, unless accompanying by a vulnerable person or a child/children under 18, should shop alone, where possible.
A list of essential retail can be found in the question and answer section of the retail sector guidance under the sub heading ‘the shopping experience’. This list was recently updated to reflect changes which came into force on 26 December 2020, replacing the previously permitted category of “homeware, building supplies and hardware stores” with “building merchants and suppliers of products and tools used in building work and repairs”. Garden Centres and plant nurseries have also been removed from the list of essential retail. Please check retailers’ websites before travelling to see whether this change affects them.
Additionally some retail services are now listed under businesses which are required to close, these are: tanning salons or premises with self-tanning machines or spray-tan booths, travel agencies, and premises laid out as a showroom to demonstrate products for installation in residential property, such as kitchen, bathroom, furniture or glazing showrooms.
Click and collect and online services can remain open.
Whilst retailers will implement procedures to ensure the safety of customers and staff, it is an individual’s responsibility to ensure they comply with the following guidance:
- do not visit any retail premises if you have tested positive or have developed any of the COVID-19 symptoms
- you must wear a face covering when you go into any retail premises including any indoor area of a shopping centre, unless exempt. Read the face covering policy
- you must follow direction signs, one way systems and shop capacities if provided by a retail outlet
- maintain a 2 metre physical distance between other people
- During this period adults, unless accompanying a vulnerable person or a child/children under 18, should shop alone.
In order to keep transmission rates as low as possible, you are also advised to:
- avoid crowded shops. Try to avoid times when shops will be busy. If you do not think you can maintain physical distancing in a shop, go back later.
- visit stores that are using infection control measures and use the available hand sanitiser.
- try to avoid touching goods unless you intend to buy them.
- be polite. Please ensure that you are considerate to retail staff and abide by their guidance and instructions, including removing your face covering if requested for proof of age.
- shop local and do not travel further than necessary to visit stores.
- be patient – shopping may take longer than you may be used to and you may need to queue for longer as a result. Please do not smoke when queuing outside shops
- you should only use public transport for essential shopping where it is not possible in your local council area – you should use online shopping or shops, banks and other services in your local area wherever you can.
Get help: If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and are self-isolating, or are vulnerable or shielding and you need essential items like food or medicine you should request assistance from friends, family, community support groups, make an online order, or call the National Helpline on 0800 111 4000.
Tradespeople, home repairs, and working in someone else’s home
Tradespeople should only go into a house to carry out or deliver essential work or services, for example:
- to carry out utility (electricity, gas, water, telephone, broadband) safety checks, repairs, maintenance and installations
- to carry out repairs and maintenance that would otherwise threaten the household’s health and safety
- to deliver goods or shopping, where essential
- to deliver, install or repair key household furniture and appliances such as washing machines, fridges and cookers
- to support a home move, for example furniture removal
Safety when working in someone else’s home
When carrying out essential work in someone’s house, tradespeople should stay 2 metres apart from the people who live there, wear a face covering and follow good hand and respiratory hygiene.
Close contact retail services
Close contact services and mobile close contact service providers must not operate. Read more: Guidance for close contact services
Close contact services include:
- hairdressing and barbers
- beauty and nail services (including make-up)
- hair removal
- tattoo, piercing and body modification
- fashion design, dress-fitting and tailoring
- indoor portrait photography
- massage therapies
- complementary and alternative medicine services requiring physical contact or close physical proximity between persons, but not osteopathy and chiropractic services
- spa and wellness services
- other services or procedures which require physical contact or close physical proximity between a provider and a customer and are not ancillary to medical, health, or social care services.
Stadia and events
Stadia must be closed to spectators.
No live events are permitted.
Sports and exercise
A maximum of 2 people from 2 separate households can meet outdoors for sport or exercise. Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards this number.
The members of an individual household or extended household can meet outdoors for sport or exercise.
You can travel for local outdoor sport or exercise such as meeting another person, walking, cycling, golf or running that starts and finishes at the same place (which can be up to 5 miles from the boundary of your local authority area), as long as you abide by the rules on meeting other households.
Indoor sports facilities are closed.
Outdoor gyms can remain open.
Outdoor non-contact sports such as golf and tennis are permitted for all age groups provided this is within a single household group, or the group contains no more than 2 people from 2 different households. Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards this number.
Organised sport and exercise can only take place within a single household group, or a group containing no more than 2 people from 2 different households. Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards this number.
Organised sport and exercise for under-12s can continue in line with workplace and socialising guidance, and sport-specific guidance agreed between the Scottish Governing Body of Sport and sportscotland. Sports providers must ensure they operate in line with the relevant guidance:
- sport and physical activity guidance
- guidance for coaches, leaders, personal trainers and instructor
Leisure and entertainment
All leisure and entertainment premises must be closed (except for use in limited circumstances).
Film and TV production can continue to take place. All such activity must be done in compliance with industry guidance.
Driving lessons, including motorcycle lessons, must not be held unless all occupants of the vehicle or vehicles are from the same household or extended household.
Public buildings such as libraries will be closed, however, library click and collect services may still operate.
Read more: guidance for public libraries=
Community centres can continue to operate for the delivery of essential services only, such as emergency shelter, medical services or meals for the homeless.
Courts and Tribunals will remain open. Further details are available from the Scottish Courts and Tribunals website.
All indoor visitor attractions such as museums, galleries, heritage attractions, indoor areas of zoos and aquariums are closed.
Outdoor visitor attractions, such as parks and gardens and the outdoor areas of zoos may remain open, to enable exercise and recreation to be undertaken with appropriate physical distancing in place, but should only be visited in line with travel restrictions.
Visitor attractions’ retail and hospitality facilities will be closed.
Public and customer toilets can be opened, as long as it is safe to do so. Where toilets are part of a larger premises e.g. a shop, face coverings must be worn.
Specific sector guidance can be found at:
Places of worship are required to close for worship, but can open for the purposes of leading an act of worship (broadcast or online), conducting a marriage or civil partnership ceremony or a funeral.
Life events (inc. weddings and funerals)
Wedding ceremonies and civil partnership registrations can take place with a maximum capacity of 5 people (including the couple, the witnesses and the person conducting the ceremony, 6 if an interpreter is required), provided the venue’s capacity allows for 2 metre physical distancing.
Funerals can take place with a maximum capacity of 20, provided the venue’s capacity allows for 2 metre physical distancing.
Wedding or civil partnership receptions and post funeral gatherings such as wakes and cannot take place.
You must maintain a safe distance of 2 metres between people not in your household or extended household.
Face coverings must be worn by those attending a wedding or civil partnership, except for the couple and the person conducting the ceremony. Face coverings do not need to be worn by the person leading a funeral service or by the person providing the eulogy.
Christenings, bar mitzvahs and other life events apart from weddings, civil partnerships or funerals should not take place.
From 26 December to 18 January, regulated early learning and childcare and school age childcare services can only open to children of key workers and vulnerable children.
- information for parents is on the Parent Club website
- childcare provision from 26 December to 18 January
Only essential informal childcare is permitted. Only children should enter the home of another household. Further information is available on the Parent Club website.
From 5 January to 29 January, schools can only open to in-person learning for children of key workers and vulnerable children, with remote learning for all other children and young people from 11 January to 29 January.
Colleges and universities
Colleges and universities can operate using a more restricted mix of face-to-face and distance learning.
Unregulated children’s activities
Unregulated activities for parents and children under 5 such as baby and toddler groups that take place outdoors are permitted. They are limited to a maximum of 7 adults and unlimited under 5s.
Outdoor organised activities for children are limited to 15 under 12s which includes a maximum of 2 adult facilitators.
Public services will be delivered online where possible. Face-to-face services can continue where this is essential.
Any advice or rules on staying safe do not prevent anyone from acting to keep themselves safe from domestic abuse, including leaving home (see further guidance). If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, call Scotland’s Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0800 027 1234 or go to www.safer.scot.
Offices, call centres and other workplaces
People are strongly advised to work from home wherever that is practicable.
Businesses which provide essential services can continue to operate, such as those in the Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) sector, courts and tribunals. There are 13 designated CNI sectors including agriculture and food production, activity to maintain the food supply chain, energy and transport.
Not all CNI activity will be essential. Those operations which can be done effectively through home working should be adopted.
Outdoor workplaces, construction, manufacturing, veterinary services and film and TV production can also remain open. They should plan for the minimum number of people needed on site to operate safely and effectively.
Home visits by tradespeople should only be for essential services.
Visiting care homes
- indoors: essential visits only.
- outdoors: visits to the care home to see loved ones through the window, arranged with care home in advance. And if Director of Public Health judges to be safe, garden visits.
Read more: care home visiting guidance
Contact with others
The Chief Medical Officer wrote to everyone on the shielding list during the week beginning 4 January to set out advice. We are not advising you stop going outside, which we know is good for mental and physical health. You should stay home as much as possible but you can still go out for exercise and essential shopping or medicines.
You should minimise contact with people outside your own household if you can.
You should not take public transport.
If you, your child or someone you care for is on the shielding list, you can sign up for priority access to supermarket online delivery slots.
Once you register you will get priority access to see online delivery slots. It may take a few weeks for you to get registered for the service. . Supermarkets have also increased the number of ways to shop and have shopping delivered which are available now.
If you do visit shops or supermarkets strictly follow the guidelines when shopping and limit the number of times you go to a shop. Shop at quieter times.
If you cannot work from home
You should continue to work from home if you can.
If you cannot work from home, if you live or work in an area in lockdown, you should not go to work. The letter you will receive from the Chief Medical Officer acts as a fit note for as long as lockdown restrictions are in place.
This letter is called a shielding notification and can be shown to your employer without the need for a GP fit note.
School/ formal childcare
Children on the shielding list should not attend in person.
Domestic abuse support
Coronavirus rules and guidance do not prevent anyone from leaving their home to escape domestic abuse or taking other measures to keep themselves safe from domestic abuse.
If you, or someone you know, is experiencing domestic abuse help is available.
Call Scotland’s Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0800 027 1234 or visit Safer.Scot.
Domestic abuse is a crime. Call 101 to report it or 999 in an emergency.
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- "The Well of Perth" - Community Resilience Project, High Street
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- 2nd September 2020 Scottish Government Daily Briefing
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- The Enchanted Forest Announces it is to Cancel the 2020 Event
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- UK Government: Businesses to save up to £300 million Annually thanks to Climate Change Agreement Scheme Extension, 16 April 2020
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