The Government in Scotland has been warning for days now that the lockdown measures in the country were about to get tighter as the pandemic continues to spread in the country. Today SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon addressed the Scottish Parliament to lay out the new rules being brought into force in the country in the next few days.
Here are the major changes to the lockdown rules that were announced for Scotland today:
- Click and collect – this service will now be limited to those selling essential goods and services only
- Takeaways – customers can no longer go inside a premises to pick up food. Customers must be served at the doorway or through a serving hatch
- Consumption of alcohol – no alcohol is to be consumed outside in any level 4 area. Takeaway pints cannot be consumed on the street
- Working from home – the Scottish Government is strengthening the obligation on businesses to allow their staff to work from home
- Home maintenance – the guidance that was issued in the first week of January, which has shuttered installation work in Scotland, is now being put into law. This strengthens the requirement for tradespeople to abide by the laws and also introduces a more realistic prospect of fines and charges being brought if non-compliance is found.
- Stay at home – the closing of a loophole in current guidance which says people can only leave home for essential purposes. The update will say: “must not leave or remain outside” unless it is for an essential reason.
You can find a more detailed breakdown of the rules here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-55649853
You can read the entire updated Scottish guidance here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/
Of all of those rule changes, the one that applies to our sector is number five. The significance of the change being that where instructions to tradespeople were guidance, they are now becoming law. This means enforcement is going to be ramped up, and consequences for those caught breaking the rules more severe.
These changes follow intense debate around the UK about whether the current restrictions are enough to contain and reduce the current wave of the pandemic. Right now there has been a slight drop in the number of cases in the last three days, but remains in the high 40k’s and there is always some bouncing around the top when a peak is reached. Daily cases this high will still continue to put an immense strain on health services. At the time of writing, a new record of 1564 deaths have been recorded. Yet another horrific milestone in this crisis.
Pressure will now continue to build on Boris Johnson and his Cabinet as calls grow louder for more to be done to combat the pandemic. There is also a growing noise from workers on sites and in trades for more to be done. This continues to be a fluid situation so it is worth keeping an eye on Government guidance for any changes that might occur.
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