Coronavirus in Scotland: West Lothian placed in level four of lockdown

Nicola Sturgeon announced at Parliament today that West Lothian will be placed in level four lockdown from Friday onwards alongside many local authorities in the west of Scotland.

West Lothian joins Glasgow and Lanarkshire in a west of Scotland-dominated list of places across Scotland now facing level four lockdown restrictions from Friday onwards.

The move into tighter restrictions will be much like the lockdown introduced in March with all non-essential shops, bars and restaurants closing in these areas as of Friday.

The new restrictions will be in place for 3 weeks until December 11.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood in Edinburgh, before a First Minister's statement outlining further coronavirus restrictions for Scotland.

The news comes after Nicola Sturgeon warned that the Scottish Government were “looking at” putting West Lothian into Level 4 lockdown.

Today’s announcement signals the first time any area has been placed under level four conditions since the tiered system was introduced.

According to Ms Sturgeon, the move hopes to protect the NHS and allow for a loosening of restrictions in the lead up to Christmas.

While socialising will stay the same as level three, only essential retail will remain open in level four.

Close contact services including hairdressers and barbers, beauty salons and tattoo artists must also shut.

Schools, colleges and universities will remain open in level four as will early learning and childcare.

All indoor visitor attractions such as museums, galleries, heritage attractions, indoor areas of zoos and aquariums will have to close.

Meeting up with people under level four will remain the same as level three restrictions, meaning that people in the affected areas cannot meet with another household in their or another’s home (unless for care reasons).

In level four, you can still 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.

Again, under 12s are not subject to this rule, while those aged between 12 and 17 are not subject to the household limit.

Couples who do not live together and people who live alone can still form extended households under level four, however, households must not form with more than one other household.

Where parents do not live in the same household, children can move between their parents’ homes in all levels, this includes both supervised and unsupervised visitation.

People are advised to work from home wherever that is practicable.

All holiday accommodation will also be closed to tourism, though hotels, B&Bs and self-catering can remain open for essential customers.

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.

Outdoor visitor attractions, such as parks, gardens and the outdoor areas of zoos may remain open.

Indoor acts of worship are limited to a maximum of 20 people providing there is sufficient space to maintain safe two metre distancing.

Wedding ceremonies and civil partnership registrations can take place with a maximum capacity of 15 people (including the couple, the witnesses and guests) providing the venue’s capacity allows for two metre physical distancing.

Wedding or civil partnership receptions cannot take place in level four.

Those in the shielding group in level four have been asked to minimise contact with people outside their own household if possible.

They should avoid public transport.

When shopping they should strictly follow the guidelines and limit the number of times they go to a shop.

At this level the Chief Medical Officer will issue a letter which is similar to a fit note and which will last for as long as their area is under Level 4 restrictions.

This letter can be used in the few cases where it is not possible to make a workplace safe.

Children on the shielding list should not attend school or childcare in person.

Following today’s announcement, Miles Briggs MSP for Lothian claimed that moving up a level was a ‘tough blow’ for West Lothian.

He said: “This is a tough blow for people and businesses in West Lothian, many of which have their busiest periods of the year in the run up to Christmas.

“It is crucial that support is readily available for businesses in West Lothian who have only just started getting back on their feet after the first lockdown.

“Local businesses must be given plenty of notice if level 4 restrictions are going to be kept in place past the 11th of December.

“It is important that the UK Government and the Scottish Government continue to work together to protect jobs in West Lothian.”

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