Level-four lockdown begins for two million people

Non-essential shops, pubs and restaurants have been closed until Friday, December 11.

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More than two million people across Glasgow and ten other council areas are now in a level-four lockdown – the toughest available restrictions under the coronavirus alert system.

Non-essential shops, pubs and restaurants closed at 6pm on Friday and cannot reopen until the same time on Friday, December 11.

Close-contact services such as hairdressers and beauty salons have also been forced to shut their doors.

Many industry leaders have warned that some businesses may not be able to survive the lockdown, which the First Minister admitted was “difficult”.

A travel ban, preventing people moving in and out of level three and four areas, has also been put into law.

It’s hoped the restrictions will slow the spread of coronavirus to such an extent that families can gather at Christmas and that hospitals are not overwhelmed.

With vaccines on the horizon, Nicola Sturgeon said there was a “very real prospect” of a more normal life by spring.

As well as Glasgow, the level-four measures apply to Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, Stirling and West Lothian.

Sturgeon said: “These restrictions are difficult and we are all scunnered and fed up and I’m not going to stand here and pretend otherwise because I feel that same sense of being utterly scunnered and fed up as the rest of you do.

“But we do now see a possible end in sight and I think it’s really important that we don’t forget that.”

She added: “There is a very real prospect for all of us of a substantially more normal way of life being returned to us by the time we reach the spring of next year.

“I hope that encourages us, it won’t make the next few weeks feel any better, but it hopefully will strengthen our resolve to stay safe ourselves, keep our families safe, keep others safe before we reach that point.”

Takeaway services can operate as normal and, while holiday accommodation is closed to tourism, hotels and B&Bs can remain open for essential customers. This includes but is not limited to work-related accommodation and services for the homeless.

Indoor sports facilities and all leisure and entertainment venues will close.

Places of worship remain open but with a limit of 20 people, with the same for funeral and wedding ceremonies.

Schools will also remain open with enhanced and targeted protective measures, despite teaching unions criticising the move and calling for a return to blended learning for pupils.

Here’s a closer look at the restrictions that have come into force for those in level four:

  • Socialising – People cannot socialise indoors. Six people from two households can meet outdoors.
  • Hospitality – Pubs, restaurants and cafes must close. Takeaways operate as normal.
  • Accommodation – Hotels, B&Bs and self-catering accommodation not open for tourists. Essential use only, such as for work purposes, homeless services and those who cannot return to their main residence.
  • Travel – No non-essential travel into or out of the level four area, except for an essential purpose – such as work or caring responsibilities.
  • Transport – Avoid car sharing with people outside extended household wherever possible. No use of public transport, except for essential purposes. Face coverings compulsory
  • Retail and close contact services – Non-essential shops and close contact services – such as hairdressers, barbers, tailors and beauticians – must close. Mobile close contact services not permitted.
  • Public buildings – Buildings such as libraries and museums are closed.
  • Stadia and events – No indoor or outdoor events permitted. Stadiums closed to spectators.
  • Weddings, civil partnerships and funerals – A maximum of 20 people allowed at weddings and civil partnerships, including the couple, however receptions are not allowed. Funerals and wakes subject to 20 person limit.
  • Places of worship – Open but restricted to 20 people.
  • Leisure and Entertainment – All venues closed.
  • Workplaces – People advised to work from home wherever they can. Only essential indoor workplaces can open, along with outdoor workplaces in sectors such as construction and engineering.
  • Trades – Tradespeople should only go into a house in a level four area to carry out or deliver essential work.
  • Schools – Open with standard protective measures in place.

The full list of Scottish Government restrictions is available here.