Strict new lockdown restrictions are to come into effect in Scotland from Friday 9 October 2020, with all pubs and restaurants to close across central Scotland.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that many licenced premises in Scotland’s five health board areas with the highest number of cases, including Glasgow and Edinburgh, will have to shut for a 16 day period.
Indoor hospitality venues in the rest of Scotland will have to operate on reduced hours, between 6am and 6pm, selling food and non-alcoholic drinks only. Meanwhile, outdoor bars will be allowed to serve alcohol until 10pm.
The measures come after the number of hospital patients with coronavirus have more than doubled in Scotland in the last week.
But what do the tougher measures mean for travel? Here’s what you need to know.
Can I travel to Scotland?
There are currently no rules against travelling to Scotland from England, Wales or Northern Ireland.
Government guidance states that travellers who arrive in Scotland from a country outside of the Common Travel Area must self-isolate for 14 days, unless they have travelled from a country exempt from quarantine restrictions.
The Common Travel Area includes the following places, and only applies if you were there for 14 days or more before arriving in Scotland:
- England, Northern Ireland and Wales
- Republic of Ireland
- Channel Islands
- Isle of Man
Can I visit any part of Scotland?
While visitors from other parts of the UK are allowed to travel to Scotland, government guidance states that you should not travel to areas where local restrictions are in place.
Currently, there are seven areas of Scotland which have local restrictions in place. These are:
- East Dunbartonshire
- East Renfrewshire
- Glasgow City
- North Lanarkshire
- South Lanarkshire
- West Dunbartonshire
Local restrictions have been put in place in these areas in response to an increase in coronavirus cases, with the stricter measures aimed at reducing transmission between households.
In these areas, people are not allowed to host or visit people from another household indoors, unless they are part of an extended household. People who are part of an extended household can continue to visit each other in their homes, regardless of where they live.
Where else is travel not advised?
In addition to areas of Scotland under local restrictions, people who live in the health board areas of Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Lothian (including the city of Edinburgh), and Forth Valley have been advised not to travel outside of them unless absolutely necessary.
Those who live within these areas are advised not to use public transport, unless absolutely necessary.
As for people who live outside of these areas, including those from other parts of the UK, the Scottish government advises against travelling to the Central Belt. However, no formal travel restrictions have been put in place as yet.
Ms Sturgeon also said that the government is “not insisting” people cancel already booked breaks.