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  • Writer's pictureAyrshire Daily News

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Full Scottish stay at home lockdown guidance

Stay at Home - To minimise the risk of spreading the virus, you must stay at home as much as possible. By law, in a level 4 area, you can only leave your home (or garden) for an essential purpose.

There is a list of examples of reasonable excuses below. Although you can leave home for these purposes, you should stay as close to home as possible. Shop on-line or use local shops and services wherever you can.

Travel no further than you need to reach to a safe, non-crowded place to exercise in a socially distanced way. To minimise the risk of spread of Coronavirus it is crucial that we all avoid unnecessary travel.

Examples of reasonable excuses to go out:

  • for work or an activity associated with seeking employment, or to provide voluntary or charitable services, but only where that cannot be done from your home.

  • for education including, school, college, university or other essential purposes connected with a course of study.

  • for essential shopping, including essential shopping for a vulnerable person. You should use online shopping or shops and other services in your immediate area wherever you can.

  • to obtain or deposit money, where it is not possible to do so from home.

  • for healthcare, including COVID-19 testing and vaccination.

  • for childcare or support services for parents or expectant parents.

  • for essential services, including services of a charitable or voluntary nature such as food banks, alcohol or drug support services.

To access public services where it is not possible to do so, including from home:

services provided to victims (such as victims of crime),
social-care services,
accessing day care centres,
services provided by the Department for Work and Pensions,
services provided to victims (including victims of crime),
asylum and immigration services and interviews,
waste or recycling services,

  • to provide care, assistance, support to or respite for a vulnerable person

  • to provide or receive emergency assistance.

  • to participate in or facilitate shared parenting.

  • to visit a person in an extended household.

  • to meet a legal obligation including satisfying bail conditions, to participate in legal proceedings, to comply with a court mandate in terms of sentence imposed or to register a birth.

  • for attendance at court including a remote jury centre, an inquiry, a children’s hearing, tribunal proceedings or to resolve a dispute via Alternative Dispute Resolution.

  • for essential animal welfare reasons, such as exercising or feeding a horse or going to a vet.

  • local outdoor recreation, sport or exercise, walking, cycling, golf, or running that starts and finishes at the same place (which can be up to 5 miles from the boundary of your local authority area) as long as you abide by the rules on meeting other households

  • to attend a marriage ceremony or registration of a civil partnership.

  • to attend a funeral or for compassionate reasons which relate to the end of a person’s life. This includes gatherings related to the scattering or interring of ashes, a stone setting ceremony and other similar commemorative events.

  • if you are a minister of religion or worship leader, for the purposes of leading an act of worship (broadcast or online), conducting a marriage or civil partnership ceremony or a funeral.

  • to donate blood.

  • for activities in connection with moving home (including viewing a property), or for activities in connection with the maintenance, purchase, sale, letting, or rental of residential property that the person owns or is otherwise responsible for. Travelling for the purposes of undertaking essential work on a property other than your main residence should not be used as a pretext for a holiday. You should not stay longer than for the length of time required to undertake the necessary work.

  • to avoid injury, illness or to escape a risk of harm.

  • for those involved in professional sports, for training, coaching or competing in an event.

  • to visit a person receiving treatment in a hospital, staying in a hospice or care home, or to accompany a person to a medical appointment.

  • to register or vote in a Scottish or UK Parliament, Local Government or overseas election or by-election, including on behalf of someone else by proxy

  • to visit a person detained in prison, young offenders institute, remand centre, secure accommodation or other place of detention.

Meeting others outdoors and in indoor public spaces

  • Up to 2 people from 2 separate households can meet outdoors for sport, exercise or social interaction.

  • Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards the total number of people permitted to gather outdoors.

  • Children under 12 do not need to maintain physical distance from others indoors or outdoors.

  • The members of an individual or extended household can meet outdoors for sport, exercise or social interaction.

  • Those at a higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus (including those who had been shielding, people 70 and over, people who are pregnant and people with an underlying medical condition) should strictly follow the physical distancing guidance.


  • Takeaways can still operate as normal, providing food is sold for consumption off premises. Face coverings and physical distancing rules must be followed.

  • Hotels and other accommodation providers can still serve food to qualifying guests i.e.

  • keyworkers staying in their premises up to 22:00. Room service, including alcohol, is allowed as normal.


Additionally some retail services are now listed under businesses which are required to close, these are: tanning salons or premises with self-tanning machines or spray-tan booths, travel agencies, and premises laid out as a showroom to demonstrate products for installation in residential property, such as kitchen, bathroom, furniture or glazing showrooms.

Read more:

Click and collect and online services can remain open.

Whilst retailers will implement procedures to ensure the safety of customers and staff, it is an individual’s responsibility to ensure they comply with the following guidance:

  • do not visit any retail premises if you have tested positive or have developed any of the COVID-19 symptoms

  • you must wear a face covering when you go into any retail premises including any indoor area of a shopping centre, unless exempt. Read the face covering policy

  • you must follow direction signs, one way systems and shop capacities if provided by a retail outlet

  • maintain a 2 metre physical distance between other people

  • During this period adults, unless accompanying a vulnerable person or a child/children under 18, should shop alone.

In order to keep transmission rates as low as possible, you are also advised to:

  • avoid crowded shops. Try to avoid times when shops will be busy. If you do not think you can maintain physical distancing in a shop, go back later.

  • visit stores that are using infection control measures and use the available hand sanitiser

  • try to avoid touching goods unless you intend to buy them.

  • be polite. Please ensure that you are considerate to retail staff and abide by their guidance and instructions, including removing your face covering if requested for proof of age.

  • shop local and do not travel further than necessary to visit stores.

  • be patient – shopping may take longer than you may be used to and you may need to queue for longer as a result. Please do not smoke when queuing outside shops

  • you should only use public transport for essential shopping where it is not possible in your local council area – you should use online shopping or shops, banks and other services in your local area wherever you can.

Tradespeople, home repairs, and working in someone else’s home

Tradespeople should only go into a house to carry out or deliver essential work or services, for example:

  • to carry out utility (electricity, gas, water, telephone, broadband) safety checks, repairs, maintenance and installations

  • to carry out repairs and maintenance that would otherwise threaten the household’s health and safety

  • to deliver goods or shopping, where essential

  • to deliver, install or repair key household furniture and appliances such as washing machines, fridges and cookers

  • to support a home move, for example furniture removal

Safety when working in someone else’s home

When carrying out essential work in someone’s house, tradespeople should stay 2 metres apart from the people who live there, wear a face covering and follow good hand and respiratory hygiene.

Travel and transport

By law, you can only leave your home (or garden) if you have a reasonable excuse. See further guidance on travel and transport and view maps of local authority area boundaries.

Colleges and universities

Colleges and universities can operate using a more restricted mix of face-to-face and distance learning.


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