These are the new restrictions to suppress the spread of COVID in Scotland

The virus has not gone away and our biggest priority remains safeguarding health and saving lives.

That’s why the Scottish Government are taking swift and substantial action to suppress the rise in COVID cases in Scotland – while keeping key public services open and protecting people’s jobs and livelihoods.

Here’s a summary of the new measures outlined by the Scottish Government.

Gatherings with other households in homes banned across Scotland

Through the data and evidence from Test and Protect, social interactions between households in homes are a big proportion of recent rises in COVID cases – and that when the virus infects one person in a household, it’s highly likely to spread to all members of a household.

That’s why from Wednesday 23 September, visiting other households in homes will no longer be allowed.

This will be reviewed every three weeks – and there are exemptions for those living alone (or alone with children), couples in non-cohabiting relationships, those who provide informal childcare (for example, grandparents) and for tradespeople.

In public indoor and outdoor spaces, you can meet with maximum 6 people

Rules for meeting other people in public indoor spaces, as well as outdoors (including private gardens), remain unchanged from those outlined several weeks ago.

You can meet with one other household only and in groups of no more than 6 people.

Young people aged 12 to 18 will be exempt from the two household limit – they will be able to meet outdoors in groups of up to 6, and this will be kept under review.

Pubs, bars and restaurants will have to close by 10pm from 25 September

From Friday 25 September, pubs, bars and restaurants will be subject to a strict nationwide curfew, meaning they will have to close by 10pm across Scotland.

This measure will mean we can reduce the amount of time people spend in hospitality premises, further preventing the spread of the virus – while protecting jobs by allowing businesses to operate.

Local authorities will also step up inspection and enforcement teams to ensure that pubs and restaurants comply with the guidance on maximum group numbers, face coverings and physical distancing.

No car sharing outside of your own household

Test and Protect data also shows that sharing car journeys carries significant risk of spreading COVID.

That’s why the Scottish Government is now advising against car sharing with people outside if your own household, and keep non-essential travel to a minimum to keep everyone safe.

Work from home if you can

Working from home ensures we can reduce crowds on public transport and prevent lengthy gatherings indoors, which helps everyone stay safe.

This has been the Scottish Government’s advice throughout the pandemic – but has been further reinforced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who outlined the advice for all those who can to work from home, and called on employers to ‘rethink encouraging workers back to the office’.

£500 support grant to help with the financial impact of self-isolating

For many who have to self-isolate after displaying COVID symptoms, receiving a positive test result or being contacted by Test and Protect, the financial hit of missing work can be significant.

To help mitigate that, the Scottish Government will be providing £500 support grants for those on low incomes who have to self-isolate – on top of a package of essential practical support, such as food deliveries, offered by local authorities.

Remember the FACTS

Ultimately, the decisions that we all take as individuals will determine whether the new measures work against the spread of the virus, and how quickly they can be lifted.

We all have our part to play – and sticking with the FACTS advice will help us protect each other.

Remember these five golden rules that are key to staying safe:

Face coverings must be worn in enclosed spaces
Avoid crowded places
Clean your hands and surfaces regularly
Two metre distancing remains the rule
Self isolate and book a test if you have symptoms