Protection Level 4 - Frequently Asked Questions
Level 4 Restrictions came into effect in Perth and Kinross on 26 December.
This is a summary of the Level 4 restrictions that were put in place on 26 December. For full details, please visit the Scottish Government website.
From 00.01am on December 26, Coronavirus Protection Level 4 will be in place in Perth and Kinross and the rest of mainland Scotland. This is the highest level of restrictions, and it is important that people know and follow the rules to prevent the spread of the virus.
Everyone must continue to follow FACTS to reduce the spread of Coronavirus - Face coverings, Avoid crowded places, Clean your hands regularly, Two-metre distance, Self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms.
Why is Perth and Kinross in Level 4?
Across Scotland, protections against Coronavirus (COVID-19) are being significantly tightened to prevent the spread of a new, highly contagious strain of the virus.
This means that Perth and Kinross and the rest of mainland Scotland will be in Level 4 for at least three weeks from a minute past midnight on Boxing Day for a minimum of three weeks.
Can I see family and friends?
You should not meet anyone who is not in your household indoors.
You can meet another household indoors in a public place but the maximum number of people who can meet is six, and only from two separate households.
Children under the age of 12 do not count towards the total number permitted but do count towards the maximum of two households. For example, a party with 10 children from more than two households is not allowed, but six adults and four children from two households is permissible.
Young people aged between 12 and 17 can meet up in groups of up to six at a time outdoors and are not subject to the two household limit. Physical distancing is required.
What does Level 4 mean for travel?
There should be no non-essential travel outwith your local authority area. There are exemptions for people who need to travel into, or out of, these areas for essential work, education, shopping or health reasons. It is also permitted to travel to another area for shared parenting and to attend weddings and funerals.
Remember that if you are on public transport, you must wear a face covering unless exempt. People should also avoid car sharing with anyone from outside their household wherever possible. Active travel - walking, cycling etc - is encouraged.
What does it mean for work?
Homeworking has been a crucial factor in mitigating the transmission of the virus amongst the general population. Until it is deemed safe for workplaces to reopen, working from home and working flexibly will remain the default for those who can. Where homeworking is not possible, businesses and organisations are encouraged to manage travel demand through staggered start times and flexible working patterns.
If you cannot work from home:
The majority of workplaces can be made safe. If you have any concerns you should discuss these with your employer.
However, 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 your area is under Level 4 restrictions. This letter can be used in the few cases where it is not possible to make your workplace safe.
Please note that this does not automatically mean you should not attend work. You should discuss this further with your employer, and if this results in adequate protection, you can continue to work.
What does Level 4 mean for schools?
Keeping schools open for the safe education of young people is a priority. Under the Level 4 restrictions, schools can remain open with enhanced protective measures in place. In addition to wearing a face covering in communal areas, pupils and staff in S4-S6 classes are required to wear a face covering in class, unless exempt. Pupils in S1-S3 may also wish to consider wearing a face covering in class.
However, new arrangements have been put in place for the start of the next term. All pupils will have their holidays extended to 11 January. Full details are available at Coronavirus: Schools, children and families
I have younger children. What childcare arrangements are allowed?
Early learning facilities and formal childcare can continue to operate, with enhanced protective measures in place. Informal childcare is allowed with restrictions on numbers.
What about universities and colleges?
The Level 4 protection level means that universities and colleges must offer blended learning. Please contact your university or college directly for further information.
I am on the shielding list. What does this mean for me?
If you are shielding you should minimise contact with people from outside your own household as much as possible.
Minimise contact with people outside your own household if you can.
You should not take public transport.
Children on the shielding list should not attend school in person.
Can I visit a care home?
Under Level 4, care home visiting is advised as follows, at a frequency agreed between the care home and visitors:
- indoors: essential visits only. Essential visits include circumstances where it is clear that the person's health and wellbeing is changing for the worse, where visiting may help with communication difficulties, to ease significant personal stress or other pressing circumstances, including approaching end of life.
- outdoors: visits to the care home to see loved ones via garden or window visits, arranged with care home in advance. As a result of the additional risk posed by the new variant of Coronavirus, garden visits should now be limited to one visitor and visits by children and young people should be suspended.
What about cafes, pubs and restaurants?
Restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars will be closed. Sector guidance can be found on the Scottish Government website.
Takeaways can still operate as normal, provided food and drink is sold for consumption off premises. Face coverings and physical distancing rules must be followed.
Hotels and other accommodation providers can still serve food to qualifying guests i.e. key or exempt workers, staying in their premises up to 10pm. Room service, including alcohol, is allowed as normal.
What about leisure and entertainment?
Leisure and entertainment venues are not permitted to open under the restrictions. Examples of this include cinemas, amusement arcades, soft play, funfairs, indoor bowling, theatres, snooker/pool halls, music venues, casinos, bingo halls, nightclubs and adult entertainment.
Can I get my haircut?
Close contact services, such as hairdressers, barbers and beauticians, must close under Level 4 restrictions. This also applies to mobile close contact services.
Are driving lessons allowed?
Driving lessons, including motorcycle lessons, must not be held unless all occupants of the vehicle or vehicles are from the same household.
Driving instructors must not travel outside their local authority area to provide lessons.