Reasonable excuses as Scotland’s travel ban set to begin

It will be against the law to travel in and out of level three and four areas - unless it's for one of these reasons.

A new law preventing people from travelling in and out of level three and four lockdown areas comes into force in Scotland on Friday.

Most council areas in Scotland will fit into the top two tiers of Scotland’s coronvirus alert system from 6pm.

Those not in three or four are: Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Argyll and Bute, Dumfries and Galloway, Western Isles, Highland, Scottish Borders, Moray, Orkney and Shetland.

The new law does allow travel if there’s a “reasonable excuse” – so how is that defined?

Here’s a list of Scottish Government exemptions to the travel ban:

  • Travelling for work, to find work or to provide voluntary services which can’t be done from home;
  • Going to or home from (at the end of term) school, college or university;
  • For organised sport and leisure activities (permitted in level three only); Professional sport carries on as normal;
  • Essential shopping, including for a vulnerable person. In level three, you can leave your council area if the shop is very close to your home;
  • Travelling for health and social care and for childcare and shared parenting. Visiting someone in hospital or a care home is also allowed;
  • To access any service provided by the Department for Work and Pensions, or asylum/immigration-related services;
  • You can travel to use waste or recycling facilities if they’re not available locally;
  • Meeting legal obligations such as a bail condition or to appear in court in any capacity, including as a juror. Visiting a prison is also exempt;
  • Animal welfare, such as exercising or feeding an animal or going to a vet;
  • Informal exercise such as walking or cycling as long as you don’t travel more than five miles from your council area;
  • Weddings, funerals and compassionate reasons related to the end of a person’s life;
  • For driving lessons or a test (level three only);
  • If you’re a religious leader, but only for running an act of worship, or for anyone to attend one (level three only);
  • Travelling is allowed if you’re donating blood;
  • It’s fine to travel on a road that goes through a level three or four area, as long as your journey ends outside it;
  • Moving house or any activities connected to it;
  • To avoid, illness or escape the risk of harm.
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