Coronavirus in Scotland: How will the travel ban be enforced and what are the exemptions?

The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced today that in the lead up to Christmas, a travel ban will be enforced by law between level three and four areas of the country to try to slow the spread of coronavirus.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced travel ban.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced travel ban.

Here is everything you need to know about the new travel restrictions.

What did Nicola Sturgeon say?

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Ms Sturgeon announced to MSPs earlier today that existing guidance on moving in and out of areas with the greatest number of coronavirus cases would become law from 6pm on Friday. She was referring to areas in levels three and four of the coronavirus tier system.

She said: "To put it bluntly - and we will require to monitor this - if we see evidence that people from East or South Ayrshire are visiting places in North Ayrshire, or that people from Glasgow are going to Inverclyde, we would have no choice but to put these areas in level four too.

"So it is essential that we all abide by travel restrictions."

How will the police be enforcing the ban?

Scots who breach the travel ban could be issued with a fixed penalty notice for £60, reduced to £30 if paid within a month. Subsequent breaches will see the fine double to a maximum of £960. In serious cases, the person could be prosecuted and subject to a court imposed fine.

Police Scotland said there would be no roadblocks or routine stopping of vehicles during the three-week ban until 11 December.

Ms Sturgeon said police would only enforce the restriction “as a last resort” where there was a “clear and flagrant breach”.

Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Alan Speirs said: "In areas where travel restrictions apply, officers will continue to use the common sense, discretion and excellent judgement they have applied since the crisis began."

Which areas are included in the travel ban?

The level four areas included in the travel ban are Glasgow, Stirling, West Lothian, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshre, East and West Dunbartonshire, North and East Ayrshire and North and South Lanarkshire.

The travel ban also covers level three areas – Edinburgh, Clackmannanshire, Angus, Dundee, Falkirk, Fife, Inverclyde, North Ayrshire and Perth and Kinross.

East Midlothian and Midlothian will also be affected until they are downgraded from level three to two on Tuesday.

What does it mean for me if I live in a level three or four area?

Residents should refrain from travelling outside their council area unless absolutely necessary, see below for the full list of exemptions. Residents of these areas can travel to airports such as Edinburgh and Glasgow only for essential travel that complies with the exemptions.

I’m not in a level three or four area, where can I travel?

People living elsewhere in Scotland must not travel to level three or level four areas from Friday. They can transit through level three and four areas to the airports, including for holidays, but Ms Sturgeon has advised against booking them. Here is an updated list of the NHS Health Boards across Scotland and information about the different levels each local council will be put under from Friday.

There are exemptions to the travel ban, here are all 18 of them:

- work, or to provide voluntary or charitable services, but only where that cannot be done from your home

- school, college, or university where teaching is not provided remotely

- under 18s’ sport (level three areas only)

- essential shopping only where it is not possible in your local authority area – you should use online shopping or shops, banks and other services in your local area wherever you can

- healthcare, social care, childcare and other essential services, including recycling, but only if they are not available in your local area

- provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person

- shared parenting or travel between the two parts of an extended household

- meet a legal obligation, including attending court or satisfying bail conditions, or to participate in legal proceedings

- essential animal welfare reasons, such as feeding a horse or going to a vet

- local outdoor informal exercise such as walking, cycling, golf, or running (in groups of up to six people from no more than two households) that starts and finishes at the same place

- to reach a place to take exercise outdoors around five miles from your local authority area

- travel for weddings, civil partnership registrations, funerals and other “life events” (such as bar mitzvahs and christenings)

- if you are a minister of religion or worship leader, travel to your place of worship

- travel to your normal place of worship (level three areas only)

- travel to give blood at a Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service collection session

- travel to transit through Level three and four areas by road or public transport if your journey begins and ends outside such an area

- travel to move house

- travel to avoid injury/illness/escape risk of harm.

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