Six new rules have been announced in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus in Scotland.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today confirmed the tougher restrictions which will be in place from Saturday, 16 January.

The new guidance will include changes to takeaway services, click and collect, working from home, changes to alcohol laws, having work carried out in your home and the "stay at home" regulations.

Nicola Sturgeon said: "We believe that both individually and collectively, these additional measures - in further reducing the interactions that allow the virus to spread - will help our essential efforts to suppress it.

"And however technical the changes may sound, I know that all of them involve further restrictions on our essential liberties."

The decision comes as Covid cases across Scotland continue to stay at a high level, with the National Records of Scotland today revealing that 7,074 people have died with confirmed or suspected coronavirus.


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The First Minister has said that fast food takeaways, including many big-name chains, will face tighter restrictions as customers will no longer be permitted to go inside to collect takeaway food or coffee.

Any outlet wishing to offer takeaway will have to do so from a serving hatch or doorway.

This reduces the risk of customers coming into contact indoors with each other, or with staff.

Alcohol changes

At the moment, different parts of Scotland have different laws in relation to the consumption of alcohol in outdoor public places.

However, from Saturday, it will be against the law in all level 4 areas of Scotland to drink alcohol outdoors in public.

This will mean, for example, that buying a takeaway pint and drinking it outdoors will not be permitted.

Ms Sturgeon said: "I know this will not be a popular move.

"But it is intended to underline and support the fact that we should only be leaving home just now for essential purposes.

"That includes exercise or recreation but not simple socialising.

"And when you do leave the home, you should only meet one person from another household, in a group no bigger than two people.

"I know this is a hard message - and it is not one I want to be sending - but it is vital to reduce the risk of the virus spreading."

HeraldScotland: Credit: Colin MearnsCredit: Colin Mearns

Working from home 

The Scottish Government intends to "strengthen" the obligation on employers to allow their staff to work from home wherever possible.

The law already says that people should only be leaving home to go to work if it is work that cannot be done from home.

This is a legal obligation that falls on individuals.

However, Nicola Sturgeon announced that she will now introduce statutory guidance to make clear to ensure that employers support employees to work from home wherever possible.

For all employers, the basic message is that if your staff were working from home during the first lockdown, they should be working from home now.

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Working from inside other peoples homes 

Guidance from working inside peoples homes will now become law.

Ms Sturgeon said: "We have already issued guidance to the effect that in level 4 areas work is only permitted within a private dwelling if it is essential for the upkeep, maintenance and functioning of the household."

No restrictions on exercise - but stay at home

No changes have been made for rules around outdoor exercise, however, Ms Sturgeon reiterated the "stay at home" regulations.

The First Minister said: "This is intended to close an apparent loophole rather than change the spirit of the law. It will also bring the wording of the stay at home regulations in Scotland into line with the other UK nations.

"Right now, the law states that people can only leave home for an essential purpose.

"However, having left home for an essential purpose, someone could then stay out of their home to do something that is not essential without breaching the law as it stands.

"So the amendment will make it clear that people must not leave or remain outside the home unless it is for an essential purpose.

"This change will provide legal clarity to facilitate any necessary enforcement.

Ms Sturgeon added: "I want to be clear though that this does not change the range of essential purposes that currently enable people to leave their house - nor does it, for example, put any time limit on how long you can be outdoors for essential exercise.

"But it does mean that if the police challenge you for being out of the house doing something that is not essential, it will not be a defence to say you initially left the house to do something that was essential."

Click and Collect services 

Shops that have been operating a Click and Collect service will have to stop doing so under the new guidelines.

Now, 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.

The First Minister said: "More importantly, for click and collect services that are allowed, staggered appointments will need to be offered to avoid any potential for queuing, and access inside premises for collection will not be permitted.

"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 is 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."

HeraldScotland: Credit: Colin MearnsCredit: Colin Mearns

Where are the current Covid hotspots?

What are the latest Covid numbers?

1,949 new cases of Covid, which is 10.2% of all tests carried out.

Scotland has now had 155,372 total cases of Covid.

1,794 people are in the hospital from the virus.

134 patients are now in ICU.

And 79 deaths additional deaths have been announced.

What about vaccinations?

Nicola Sturgeon has said that first doses for the over 80s will be completed by the start of February.

Everyone aged over 70 will have been offered vaccination by mid-February.

She added: "It is our aim to vaccinate all over 65s and those with extreme clinical vulnerability by the end of February.

"This means that by the start of March, 1.4 million people will have received at least the first dose of vaccine."