People ordered to ‘stay at home’ as lockdown tightened till end of January

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced a tightening of lockdown measures similar to that of last March in a bid to act quickly and concisely to slow the spread of coronavirus, particularly the recently identified ‘new strain’.

From midnight tonight (4 January) everyone currently in Level 4 should stay at home, and this will become law, unless an exception applies, such as caring for someone else, essential shopping, exercise and meeting extended households. The amount of outdoor exercise is not being limited.

In addition, the rules on meeting people outdoors are tightened – only two people from two households can meet outdoors. This is reduced from six people from two households. Under 11s are excepted from this, and can play in larger groups and organised events.

People should continue to work from home where possible, and travel outside of Scotland is not permitted except for essential purposes.

Nicola Sturgeon says she is ‘more concerned than she has ever been’ and asked every business to look at their operations, and make sure that any work that can be done from home is being done so.

She said: “If you were shielding and you cannot work from home, our clear advice now is that you should not go into work at all.

“The Chief Medical Officer is writing to everyone who falls into this category, and his letter will count as a fit note for those who need it.”

Places of worship will have to close (from Friday), funerals are limited to 20 people and weddings to five. No wakes are allowed.

Schools will be closed to most pupils till 1 February. Vulnerable children and those of key workers should still attend as normal.

We’ll bring you more information as we can. Full details will be available on the Scottish Government stay at home guidance web page.

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