Ban on collecting takeaways from inside premises

New restrictions also placed on click and collect services and drinking alcohol outside.

Customers will no longer be able to collect takeaway food and drink from inside premises, under new coronavirus-fighting rules.

Fresh restrictions have also been placed on click and collect shopping services – which will now only include essential items to be picked up by appointment and without queuing.

Takeaway alcohol to drink outside will also now no longer be sold in Scotland’s level-four areas, when the new rules come into force on Saturday.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the new measures as she revealed another 79 deaths of coronavirus patients had been registered.

The number of death certificates mentioning Covid-19 in Scotland has now broken through the 7000 mark.

Under the new restrictions, takeaway operators must now serve only from a hatch or window, while click and collect services must offer staggered appointments.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Government will seek to close a loophole allowing people to do non-essential things during lockdown.

Sturgeon told MSPs regulations would be changed, forbidding people from leaving home for an essential purpose and then doing something considered not to be essential after they have left the house.

While the list of essential reasons for leaving home will not change, the First Minister said: “It does mean that if the police challenge you for being out of the house doing something that is not essential, it will not be a defence to say you initially left the house to do something that was essential.”

Sturgeon also urged Scots to adhere to the spirit not just the letter of lockdown laws.

Speaking in Holyrood on Wednesday, she said: “Don’t think in terms of the maximum interactions you can have without breaking the rules.

“Think instead about how you minimise your interactions to the bare essentials to remove as many opportunities as possible for the virus to spread.

“In everything you do, assume that the virus is there with you – that either you have it or any person you are in contact with has it – and act in a way that prevents it passing between you.

“All of this means staying at home except for genuinely essential purposes – including working from home whenever possible.

“Except for essential purposes, do not have people from other households in your house and do not go into theirs.”

Laws requiring employers to allow staff to work at home are also being strengthened. Statutory guidance will be introduced urging employers to support workers to remain at home “wherever possible”.

Guidance previously issued to only allow essential work in people’s houses will now be placed into law, Sturgeon added.

She said: “We have already issued guidance to the effect that in level-four areas work is only permitted within a private dwelling if it is essential for the upkeep, maintenance and functioning of the household. We will now put this guidance into law.”

Scottish Conservatives Holyrood leader Ruth Davidson called for evidence to be published underlining the need for the latest restrictions.

She said: “Business groups have said the evidence for this decision has not yet been made plain to them and for many, these restrictions were unexpected only a week ago.

“They thought that their services would continue and in many cases, had invested heavily to make their premises safe to keep trading.”

The Federation of Small Businesses said it was essential firms got financial support to survive the lockdown.

Scotland policy chair Andrew McRae said: “Given the intense speculation ahead of this announcement, many local businesses in sectors like retail and hospitality had feared the worst.

“While there will be some relief that they can continue to operate, albeit in a very restricted way, the approach of trailing worst-case scenarios in the days before any announcement causes unnecessary anxiety for business owners and disrupts business planning.

“For those businesses that now do need to cease trading, their attention will quickly turn to where they can get financial help and support from government. In doing so, many will find that their business is ineligible or that a fund that could help them has yet to launch.

“We need all the stops pulled out to get more money out the door and into struggling firms, or run the risk of mass business closures.”

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