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Scotland’s New Rules are ‘Similar to the Lockdown of March last Year’

LISTEN: Charles Fletcher explains what the new rules are and what they will mean for people in Highland Perthshire

The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, took to parliament to announce the new rules which the government hope will help suppress the
transmission of the Coronavirus.

These new rules further restrict the movement of people, schooling, shops and places of worship.

Yesterday, Nicola Sturgeon said: “We have decided to introduce from tomorrow, for the duration of January, a legal requirement to stay at home except for essential purposes. This is similar to the lockdown of March last year.”

Now all level 4 areas are treating the stay at home message as law by limiting Scots to leaving the house for essential purposes.

Essential shopping, medical supplies and exercise all count as the essential reasons why people are permitted outside.

Our Parliamentary Editor, Charles Fletcher, said: “I think one of the things that we need to take on board is another line from the First Minister
is we are now in a race between the vaccine and the virus.

“We cannot let the virus win; we must let the vaccine win this race.”

To explain in more detail what the new rules are, we’ve broken them down into the ‘new’ and existing rules. They are as follows:

New Rules:

Stay at Home

Now it is only permissible to leave home for an “essential purpose” such as caring responsibilities, essential shopping, exercise and being part of an extended household.

Unlike the March 2020 lockdown, exercise will not be restricted to any frequency or duration, but now the rule of six is no longer applicable and only 2 people from 2 households can meet outdoors.

However, children aged 11 and under are not counted in this limit.


Schools will continue online learning throughout January, until 1 February, which will be reviewed halfway through this month.

Vulnerable pupils will continue to learn in school, as will the children of essential workers.

Essential Businesses

After a ‘tightening of the essential retail definition’, ‘non-essential’ services are closing; this includes ski centres, showrooms of larger retailers and clinics offering cosmetic and ascetic procedures.

Places of Worship

Places of worship cannot continue to hold services in person and close in ‘all purposes except broadcasting a service or conducting a funeral or wedding.’

Life events, Weddings and Funerals

Only as many as 20 people may attend a funeral now but wakes will not be permitted.

Weddings and funerals may continue, however, only a maximum of 5 people can attend a wedding or civil partnership.

Existing Rules:

Hospitality Rules

Under level 4 restrictions all hospitality will be closed to customers sitting in, however, alcohol and food can be served as a takeaway.


With level 4 restrictions in place, travel in and out of the area is banned unless for an essential purpose.

There are, however, exemptions which allow essential travel for work, health, education, shared parenting and transit.

Public Services

Under the level 4 restrictions, public services can continue but with a reduced face to face service.

With these restrictions in place, only essential face-to-face services will be available, meaning as many services as possible will be available online.


Under the level 4 restrictions, all ‘non-essential’ shops will be closed within the Perth and Kinross area.

However, click and collect service and outdoor retail are permitted.

Leisure and Entertainment

With the level 4 restrictions in play, all leisure and entertainment are closed.


Under the level 4 restrictions accommodation is limited to essential purposes only, these include the previous exemptions such as tourism.

The same rules for hospitality and socialising apply.

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