Nicola Sturgeon announced new “targeted” measures on Wednesday to help stop the spread of coronavirus in Scotland.

The First Minister set out the Scottish Government’s plans to slow down the virus and reduce the R-number across the country.

People living in the Central Belt will no longer be able to visit pubs, bars or restaurants at all, starting today at 6pm for 16 days.

The new wave of restrictions comes following a continued rise in coronavirus cases across the country, with Scotland recording more than 1000 cases on Wednesday and Thursday.

Here’s what you can and cannot do over the next 16 days.

Hospitality industry - Central belt

Because of higher levels of infection in the central belt, the Scottish Government are introducing stricter restrictions in the following five health board areas - Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire & Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley.

In these areas, all licensed premises - with the exception of hotels for residents - will be required to close indoors and outdoors, though takeaways will be permitted.

Cafes will be able to stay open until 6pm to support social isolation.

The Scottish Government will offer financial compensation of £40m to the businesses impacted by these decisions. 


Hospitality industry - outside of Central belt

Pubs, restaurants, cafes and bars will be able to operate indoors on the following very restricted basis only.

During the day, from 6am to 6pm, for the service of food and non-alcoholic drinks only.

Cafes will be able to stay open until 6pm to support social isolation.

Hotel restaurants will be able to operate beyond 6pm, but only for residents and without alcohol.

Can I go inside other peope's homes?

You should not meet people from any other households in your home or another person’s home socially, unless they are in your extended household.

What is an extended household?

An extended household is one where two households have joined together to form a single household.

An extended household can be formed by a person who lives alone - or only with children under 18.

They and another household of any size can agree to form an extended household.

An extended household can also be formed by a couple who do not live together, and their children.

Can I meet people outdoors?

You can meet people outside, in your garden or a public space, in groups of up 6 people from no more than 2 households (not counting under-12s).

You should limit as far as possible the total number of households you meet in a day and stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household.

Can I meet a friend in a cafe?

Yes but the restrictions will be strictly applied. And all the current regulations and the limits on meeting a maximum of 6 people from 2 households will still apply.

Nicola Sturgeon said:“The reason we are not closing indoor hospitality completely is that we know the benefits, in terms of reducing loneliness and isolation, of giving people - particularly those who live alone - somewhere they can meet a friend for a coffee and a chat.”


Can I go on holiday?

Speaking on BBC’s Good Morning Scotland, Deputy First Minister John Swinney responded to that question.

He said: “Yes, but we ask people to take the greatest of care.

“That’s the principle piece of advice. Holiday plans can take their course, but people must exercise great care.

“And, of course, where they are going to areas of the country which may have, for example, a lesser prevalence of coronavirus, to be respectful of the fact that we don’t want to be any way responsible for the spread of the virus in other communities.”

Should I cancel my half-term break?

Nicola Sturgeon yesterday said people should not cancel any half-term breaks that they have planned.

However, she is advising not to travel outside of your health board region if you don’t need to.

People in other health board areas should not travel to Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire & Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley unless they need to.

Can I visit people in care homes?

Visits over and above essential visits are being gradually re-introduced.

Care home residents can have up to three outdoor visitors from no more than two households at a time by pre-arranged appointment

One indoor visitor once a week by pre-arranged appointment if care homes have had their visiting plans approved by local public health teams

These arrangement may be different if you live in an area with additional measures.

What about hospitals?

Visits over and above essential visits are being gradually re-introduced.

Each person in hospital can have 1 designated visitor, to be made by pre-arranged appointment.

Again, these arrangement may be different if you live in an area with additional measures.

Can I get married?

Yes, you can still get married. 

Can I go to outdoor live events?

In the central belt outdoor live events will not be permitted in Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire & Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley for the next two weeks.

Can I play sports?

In the central belt, snooker and pool halls, indoor bowling alleys, casinos and bingo halls will be closed from the 10th of October.

Contact sports for people aged 18 and over will also be suspended for the next two weeks with an exception for professional sports.


Can I go to the gym?

Indoor group exercise activities will not be allowed - although the current rules will remain in place for under 18s and gyms can remain open for individual exercise.

Can I go on public transport?

The first minister says that although there are not any mandatory travel restrictions, people in the central belt should not travel outside their local area and others shouldn't visit there "unless they need to".

Will schools stay open?

Nicola Sturgeon stated that the Scottish Government is not proposing to close schools.

She said: “Apart from the October holidays which are already planned - we are not proposing to close schools either wholly or even partially.”


Is this a return to lockdown?

The First Minister stated that the Scottish Government would not be proposing another lockdown at this stage, not even a temporary one.

Is there a nationwide travel ban?

Nicola Sturgeon said that there are no plans for a nationwide travel ban, however this wasn’t ruled out for hotspots in the country.

Will the hospitals and doctors stay open?

The First Minister said that the NHS will stay open for conditions that aren’t related to Covid-19.

She said on Tuesday: “We are not about to halt the remobilisation of the NHS - it is vital that our National Health Service is there for non COVID conditions as well as there for everything we have to deal with in relation to COVID.”

Can I go to the shops?

Customers must wear a face covering in shops and other retail premises. Some people do not have to wear a face covering including for age, health, or disability reasons.

Shop and retail staff who come into contact with customers must also wear a face covering. There are some exemptions, such as where there is 2 metre physical distancing or a screen between staff and customers.

Can I share a car?

You should only share a vehicle with those from your household or extended household.

If you have no other option, you should follow the safe travel guidance at the Transport Scotland website which provides advice on how to share vehicles safely.

Carers and those they provide unpaid care for can travel together but they should follow that advice.

Should I work from home?

Everyone who can work from home should continue to do so.

Where work cannot be done at home, employers should take clear steps to help protect workers and create safe places to work.

Non-essential offices and call centres should not yet re-open.

Guidance on how to work safely in different types of workplace has been developed in consultation collaboration with industry, trade unions, regulators, local authorities and others, including equality organisations.

What if I’m shielding?

The first minister says the government is not recommending that people who shielded over the summer should return to staying completely indoors.

They should take more care, however, especially in the Central Belt.