Can I work in Tier 4 Scotland? Essential travel rules explained - and list of businesses that must close
Tradespeople can still work in homes under Level 4 if it is essential
The First Minister announced that mainland Scotland will move into a Level 4 lockdown from Boxing Day, amid fears over the spread of the new strain of Covid.
From 26 December, mainland Scotland will be placed under the tightest possible restrictions, while Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles will move from Level 1 to Level 3.
The new strain is thought to be up to 70 percent more transmissible than other variants.
Those living in a Level 4 area will have to abide by strict rules for the duration of the lockdown, which Nicola Sturgeon has said will last three weeks.
Here’s whether you can go to work in Level 4.
Can I go to work in Level 4?
Similar to the first nationwide lockdown in March, the Scottish Government is advising people to work from home wherever that is possible.
Those who have been working from home since the beginning of the pandemic will continue to do so.
Key workers will still be able to go to work as normal, such as NHS workers, pharmacy and supermarket staff.
According to the Scottish Government advice, tradespeople can continue to work in other people’s homes under Level 4, but work should be limited to the provision of essential goods and services only.
- Utility engineers and telecoms workers for the purpose of safety checks, repairs, maintenance and installations
- Urgent repairs and maintenance
- Delivery, installation and repair of key household furniture and appliances
- Provision of informal childcare and formal childcare for anyone employed in essential or permitted services
- Provision of health, medical and veterinary care to household occupants including animals
- Services in support of a home move
If you work in any of the businesses that will have to close under Level 4 rules, you will not be able to go into work for the duration of the lockdown and your employer may place you on the furlough scheme, which has now been extended until April 2021.
Can I travel for work?
The Scottish Government has imposed a travel ban between Scotland and the rest of the UK as part of the tighter restrictions.
However, you are still able to travel from Scotland into the other four nations for essential work, and other exceptions like education, healthcare or childcare.
You will also be permitted to travel between other Level 4 and Level 3 areas within Scotland for work, but public transport should only be used when absolutely essential.
Which businesses will close in Level 4?
Many businesses will be forced to shut under the Level 4 rules, in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus.
All hospitality venues, such as restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars will be closed, although takeaways can continue to operate.
Holiday accommodation will also be closed to tourism, though hotels, B&Bs and self-catering can remain open for essential customers, like those who need to stay for essential work purposes.
Only essential retail - like supermarkets and pharmacies - will be able to remain open in Level 4, and outdoor retail including garden centres and outdoor markets.
Click and collect and online services can also remain open.
All public buildings such as libraries have to close, but library click and collect services can still operate.
Close contact services including hairdressers and barbers, beauty salons and tattoo artists must shut.
That includes mobile services, like mobile hairdressers.
Indoor sports facilities, including gyms, have to close.
Outdoor gyms can remain open, and you are permitted to meet others outdoors, following the rules around meeting other households, for informal exercise or sport.
All indoor visitor attractions such as cinemas, museums, galleries, heritage attractions, indoor areas of zoos and aquariums are closed.
However, film and TV production can continue to take place.
Outdoor visitor attractions, such as parks, gardens and the outdoor areas of zoos may remain open.
Early learning and childcare can remain open, as can schools, colleges and universities, but informal childcare is only allowed for anyone employed in essential services.
Schools will open for key workers as normal, but the majority of pupils will not return on January 11, with online learning until at least January 18.
What are the other Level 4 restrictions?
There are further restrictions on socialising under the Level 4 restrictions.
You cannot meet with another household in your or their home (unless for care reasons), though you can meet one other household indoors in a public place with a maximum of six people from two households.
Children under the age of 12 do not count towards this number.
Groups of six from two households can meet outdoors in a private garden or public place such as a park.
Couples who do not live together and people who live alone can still form extended households.
Indoor acts of worship are limited to a maximum of 20 people providing there is sufficient space to maintain safe distancing.
Wedding ceremonies and civil partnership registrations can take place with a maximum capacity of 15 people (including the couple, the witnesses and guests), but receptions cannot take place in Level 4.