Scotland: SNP’s John Swinney warns of further restrictions
Scotland confirmed 1,707 new cases of coronavirus on January 14, bringing the total in the country to 157,079 cases. The lockdown began on January 5, from which people were legally required to stay at home amid concerns about rising case numbers across the UK. Now the lockdown rules in Scotland are due to change, but how exactly will the rules concerning click and collect alter?
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced changes to Scotland’s lockdown rules this week.
She revealed six new measures which will mean a tightening of the current rules.
The new rules concern takeaway services, alcohol consumption, working from home, home maintenance, the stay at home message and click and collect orders.
Ms Sturgeon said: “I must stress at the outset that the situation we face in relation to the virus remains very precarious and extremely serious.
“Therefore, in order to maximise our chances of effectively suppressing the virus, I will set out today some further tightening of the lockdown restrictions.”
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As of January 14, there have been 157,079 confirmed cases of the virus.
In total, 5,166 people have died following a positive test for the virus.
The first Covid-19 vaccinations in Scotland were administered on December 8.
Currently, 208,207 people have received the first dose of the Covid vaccination and 3,190 have received the second dose.
Overall, 1,829 people were in hospital on January 14 with recently confirmed Covid-19 infections, a total of 106 of which have been admitted to intensive care.
What are the new rules regarding click and collect in Scotland?
Click and Collect services will be limited to essential shopping such as clothing, books and baby equipment.
Ms Sturgeon said: “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 click and collect.
“This will include, for example, clothes and footwear, baby equipment, homeware and books. “All other click and collect services must stop.”
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From 12.01am on Saturday only the following stores will be able to continue operating click and collect services:
- Clothing and footwear
- Garden centre/plant nurseries
- Baby equipment
- Electrical (including repairs)
- Key cutting
- Shoe stores
Where click and collect services are permitted, staggered appointments will be required to avoid any potential queueing.
In addition, access inside premises is banned and instead outdoor collection should be orchestrated.
Ms Sturgeon offered her sympathy for businesses likely to be negatively impacted by these changes.
She said: “I know that businesses affected by this change will be disappointed and that many have gone to great lengths to make services as safe as possible.
“But we must reduce as far as possible the reasons people have just now for leaving home and coming into contact with others.
“I welcome the actions of those businesses that have voluntarily suspended click and collect, and tightened their procedures in relation to face coverings.”
What other changes will take effect from Saturday?
From January 16, takeaway services will no longer be able to allow customers inside to collect orders and instead must use a strict no-entry policy.
Alcohol will be officially illegal in all outdoor public places of any Level 4 area.
The Scottish Government is strengthening its obligation on employers to enable staff to work from home where possible with the law placing the responsibility on employers.
Home maintenance rules will also change with only essential work undertaken in private dwellings for its upkeep, maintenance and functioning of a household permitted.
Overall, the Government will also strengthen its stay at home message to “close an apparent loophole” which enabled people to leave home without an essential purpose.
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