Nicola Sturgeon reveals new coronavirus restrictions for different council areas
NICOLA Sturgeon has revealed the lockdown restrictions different parts of Scotland will be living under from next week.
It comes ahead of the new five-tier coronavirus system coming into force on Monday.
The system runs from “level zero”, which is as close to normal as possible without an effective treatment or vaccine, to level four, which is closer to a full lockdown.
The First Minister said she recognised the rules “require more sacrifice, at a time when all of us are tired of making sacrifices”.
She added: “But it is essential. If we all dig in and stick with it, this proportionate approach has a real chance of being sustainable and keeping Covid under control over the winter.”
Ms Sturgeon said Scotland is making progress but cases are still rising and the pandemic is accelerating across Europe.
She said she could not rule out a move back to nationwide restrictions in the next few weeks, including a near-lockdown.
She said: “That could happen if, for example, cases in parts of the county start to rise faster again, to the extent that controlling spread with travel restrictions will not be effective.
“Or it could happen if pressure on the NHS risks breaching capacity – not just at a local level – but overall.
“We want to avoid this, obviously. But to achieve that, we must all play our part.”
Ms Sturgeon said Highland, Moray, Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland will all move into level one from Monday.
This will allow pubs and restaurants to open with a 10.30pm curfew.
In time, it should also allow people to meet in each other’s homes in groups of up to six from a maximum or two households.
However Ms Sturgeon said the restriction on household meetings will continue to apply in all parts of the country for now.
Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen, Fife, the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Argyll and Bute, Perth and Kinross and Angus will move into level two.
Premises can sell alcohol indoors with a main meal under level two, but must close inside areas at 8pm. They can operate normally in outside areas such as beer gardens until 10.30pm.
Inverclyde, East and West Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, South Ayrshire, East Ayrshire and North Ayrshire, Stirling, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire, Edinburgh, Midlothian, West Lothian and East Lothian will all move into level three, as will Dundee.
North and South Lanarkshire will also move into level three.
It had been feared Lanarkshire would be placed in level four, which would see the complete closure of hospitality and non-essential shops.
Police, NHS and council chiefs previously urged the Scottish Government not to impose level four on the area.
Ms Sturgeon insisted it was “a borderline decision…that we require to keep under review – not just weekly, but on a daily basis”.
Bars, restaurants, cafes and other hospitality venues will be allowed to open until 6pm under level three.
However they will not be permitted to sell alcohol either indoors or outside.
Ms Sturgeon said: “If you live in a level three council area or in future a level four area, please do not travel outside the council area you live in- unless you require to do so for essential reasons.
“And if you live in a level one or two local authority area, you must not travel into a level three or level four council area except for essential purposes.
“By essential purposes we mean things like work – if you really cannot work from home – education, local outdoor exercise, healthcare or caring responsibilities, and essential shopping where that is not possible locally.”
She added: “Similarly people – wherever they live – should not travel between Scotland and areas in the rest of the UK with high levels of the virus unless they really need to do so.
“Given that the police can’t check everyone’s journey, this has to rely on public willingness to adhere.
“That’s why the advice is in guidance at this stage and not regulation, though we will keep that under review.
“But I appeal to people across the country – please comply with this advice, to keep everyone safe and allow us to continue with a proportionate response to wider restrictions.”