Mainland Scotland is to go into lockdown from midnight tonight with a new legal requirement forbidding anyone from leaving their home except for essential purposes.
People are being asked to comply with the message to “Stay at Home” for the duration of January.
Amongst the limited reasonable excuses to leave your home are provisions for caring, outdoor exercise and to go to work, but only if that work cannot be done from home.
Another key change is that only a maximum of two people from up to two households will be able to meet outdoors. Children aged 11 and under will not be counted in that limit.
Depute Council Leader Norman Hampshire said:
“The news that mainland Scotland will move from COVID-19 Protection Level 4 to a temporary lockdown highlights the seriousness of the current situation facing communities around the country, including here in East Lothian.
“With concern over the new strain of the virus and the need to protect the NHS, it is important that the people of East Lothian follow the new guidance to stay at home except for essential purposes. Folk around the county have been extremely patient and supportive since the start of the pandemic. The situation has continued far longer than anyone would have liked and I appreciate the frustrations, but we really do need everyone’s backing at this difficult time.
“Supporting the communities of East Lothian, including young people and the most vulnerable, has been the council’s top priority throughout this pandemic, whilst doing our best to minimise disruption to services. Inevitably the temporary lockdown will present further challenges to individuals, communities, business and council services in the weeks ahead but I am extremely grateful to our staff who will be working hard to continue doing their very best, including providing remote learning for our children. We will also be providing childcare and education for the children of key workers and the most vulnerable children.
“Our website has useful links and information and we will continue to provide further information for vulnerable people on the support which is available.
“While this is not the start to 2021 that anyone will have wanted, we comply with this temporary lockdown hopeful that the rollout of a vaccine programme across the country will enable people to move to a less restrictive way of life in the not too distant future.”