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Nicola Sturgeon tightens lockdown with new restrictions on click-and-collect, takeaways and alcohol

Scotland lockdown

Nicola Sturgeon says From Saturday, non-essential click and collect retail services will be prohibited in Lockdown Level 4 areas across Scotland

The First Minister has announced further Covid-19 restrictions, including curbs to non-essential retailers’ click and collect and food-to-go takeaway services.

The Scottish Government’s new guidance states that from Saturday, non-essential click and collect retail services will be prohibited in Level 4 areas and further changes will be put in place to how services open for essential purposes operate.

Timeslots will be required for collection and people should not enter a store to collect an item.

The First Minister has announced further Covid-19 restrictions,
From Saturday, non-essential click and collect retail services will be prohibited

What are the new click and collect rules?

Click and collect services offered by essential retailers can continue.

The Scottish Government said services will be suspended across retail other than for:

  • clothing and footwear stores
  • homeware stores
  • garden centres and plant nurseries
  • baby equipment shops
  • electrical goods, including repairs
  • key cutting and shoe repair shops
  • bookstores

The rules take effect from Saturday January 16.

Changes to click and collect, takeaways and working from home announced

Changes to click and collect services

  • Limit to the availability of click and collect retail services. Only essential services will be allowed to run click and collect services eg clothes and footwear, baby equipment, homeware and books
  • Staggered appointments to avoid queuing and access inside for queuing won’t be allowed

Changes to takeaway food and drink

  • Customers no longer permitted to go inside to collect takeaway food or coffees
  • Any outlet wishing to offer takeaway will have to do so from a serving hatch or doorway
  • From Saturday against the law to drink alcohol outdoors in public in a Level 4 area eg getting a takeaway pint and drinking it outdoors not allowed

Statutory guidance for employers

  • Scottish Government to introduce statutory guidance to make clear to employers that they must support employees to work from home wherever possible
  • If staff were working from home during the last lockdown, they should work from home now

Only last week, updated government guidance stated that these services could remain open and trading.

This follows the decision at the end of last month to add garden centres and homeware stores to the list of non-essential shops, meaning they would have to close.

The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) wrote to Scottish Ministers on Friday about the threat to click and collect and food takeaway services, before joining other representative bodies to write again to Ministers on Monday and Tuesday about the issues.

SRC director David Lonsdale said that while he recognised that the government wants people to stay home, these “revenue-crushing restrictions and the fresh complexity they bring”, together with constant changes to the Covid Strategic Framework, are making things very difficult for retailers.

“The businesses affected – who have already lost much of their income during the crisis – are trying to make the best fist possible of the current severely curtailed trading conditions, and that just got even harder as a result of this decision which will add to their cash flow woes.

“The blunt reality is that the taxpayer-funded grant support on offer won’t make up for lost sales and firms’ mounting bills and debt during this pandemic.

“Even when we eventually emerge from lockdown, shops will be unable to trade at capacity due to physical distancing and caps on numbers in stores, while the threat of a return to full business rates liability in April still looms,” Lonsdale added.

CBI Scotland director Tracy Black called click and collect “a lifeline” to many businesses, particularly smaller firms, as one of their few remaining revenue streams.

“Of course, firms can choose to suspend click and collect if that makes sense for them, but for many others it could mean the difference between business survival or not.

“It’s really important that the Scottish Government sets out compelling evidence that these services are a source of transmission and provides additional, urgent support to compensate for what would be a further loss of revenue in increasingly challenging times.”

Nicola Sturgeon has expanded on the stay at home guidance.

First Minister says: “I want to be clear, 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 for an essential purpose.

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

“I want to be clear 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.”

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