Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced new restrictions in light of rising Covid-19 infections, which will come into effect this Friday the 20th November; eleven council areas including the city of Glasgow have been moved up to level four lockdown, and a travel ban has been imposed on all level three and four zones.
Travelling to and from areas which are in level three and four lockdown is now illegal and enforceable by law, with the exception of travelling for certain “essential purposes”. Non-essential travel between Scotland and other parts of the UK is also banned.
This means that if you live in a level three or four zone (including Edinburgh), you must not travel outside of your council area.
11 council areas have been moved to Tier 4 lockdown: Glasgow City, West Lothian, Stirling, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East and West Dunbartonshire, North and South Lanarkshire, and East and South Ayrshire.
Under level four lockdown, all non-essential shops will close, along with hospitality venues including cafes. However, takeaways may still operate. Additionally, some indoor places such as gyms and hairdressers will be allowed to stay open, and people can meet outdoors with up to six people from two households. There is also no limit on outdoor exercise.
Christina Gorman, 22, a Glasgow resident who graduated from university this summer, tells The Student: “I’ve found it a lot more difficult than I thought I would with all the restrictions up until now. It has definitely affected my relationships with friends as it’s been so difficult to find a suitable time and place to get together, and with Tier 4 restrictions it will be even harder. Although there is the option of going for a walk in the park with friends, it’s not looking very appealing seeing as the weather is so bad in the winter.”
She added that although “it’s fair to say that everyone’s social life and mental health will take a hit,” moving Glasgow into Tier 4 was a “good decision, done with the best of intentions with regard to the health of the population.”
Patrick O’Dwyer, 22, a student at the University of Glasgow, told The Student: “An increase of restrictions won’t change much [about my social life], since the biggest change will be the closure of cafes, which I wasn’t visiting anyway, and most of my socialising has been with a single other selected household, which has been enough to get me by without making me feel like I’m flaunting restrictions.”
Edinburgh remains in level three lockdown.
The new rules will come into effect this Friday the 20th at 6pm and they will last for three weeks, ending on December 11th.
Sturgeon stressed that the level four lockdown is intended to be “short and sharp”, and hopefully drive Covid-19 infection rates down, to allow for the planned easing of restrictions over the Christmas holidays.
Image: Clem_nat via Wikimedia