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Lockdown restrictions tightened on takeways, click and collect, outdoor drinking and working from home


By Scott Maclennan

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced new restrictions targetting click and collect services as well as takeaway food and outdoor drinking after Scotland recorded the highest weekly death rate from Covid since May.

According to the National Records of Scotland, confirmed fatalities where the virus is a suspected or contributory cause of death reached 7074 by Sunday.

A total of 384 of those were registered up to Sunday alone, which is 197 more than the previous week and the highest weekly figure recorded since last May.

That led the cabinet to agree to new restrictions limiting the possibility of people interacting with one another with the aim of breaking the chain of transmission.

Altogether, there are six changes they are set to come into force from Saturday. Ms Sturgeon outlined them in the Scottish Parliament as follows:

Click and Collect

First Minister: “Firstly, we intend to limit the availability and operation of click and collect retail services.Only retailers selling essential items will be allowed to offer clicking and collect. This will include for, example, clothes and footwear, baby equipment, homeware and books – all other clicking collect services must stop.

“More importantly though for clicking collects services that are allowed staggered appointments only to be offered, to avoid any potential for queuing and access inside premises for collection will not be permitted."

Takeaway

First Minister: “Secondly, we tend to apply restrictions to take away services. Customers will no longer be permitted to go inside to collect take away food or coffee, any outlet wishing to offer take away will have to do so from a serving hatch or doorway.

“This is to reduce the risk of customers coming into contact indoors with each other or with staff."

Outdoor Alcohol Consumption

First Minister: “Thirdly, we intend to change the rules around consumption of alcohol. At the moment different parts of Scotland have different laws in relation to the consumption of alcohol and outdoor public places.

“However, from Saturday, it will be against the law in all level 4 areas to drink alcohol outdoors in public. That will mean for example that buying a takeaway pint and drinking it outdoors will not be permitted. Again, I know this is not a popular move but it is intended to underline and support the fact that we should only be leaving home right now for essential purposes."

Working from Home

First Minister: “Fourthly and significantly, we intend to strengthen the obligation on employers to allow their staff to work from home whenever possible. The law already says that we should only be leaving home to go to work if it is work that cannot be done from home. This is a legal obligation that falls on individuals.

“However, we will now introduce statutory guidance to make clear to employers that they must support their workers to work from home, wherever possible."

Work Inside Private Dwellings

First Minister: “Fifthly, we will strengthen the provision in relation to work inside people's houses. We've already issued guidance to the effect that in level 4 areas work is only permitted within a private dwelling if it is essential for the upkeep, maintenance and functioning of the household and we will now put this guidance into law.

Stay at Home

First Minister: “The final change is an amendment to the regulations requiring people to stay at home, but I want to be clear this is intended to close an apparent loophole rather than change the spirit of the law.

“It will also bring the wording of this the stay at home regulations in Scotland into line with the other UK nations.

“Right now the law states that people can only leave home for an essential purpose however having left home for an essential purpose someone could then stay out of their home to do something that is not essential without breaching the law as it stands.

“So the amendment will make it clear that people must not leave or remain outside the home unless for an essential purpose.”

Related: 1000 new cases in NHS Highland area since start of month


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