SCOTLAND is poised to receive even tougher lockdown rules in a bid to curb any further spread of coronavirus.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is today meeting with Cabinet to discuss the situation across the country, with any further changes being considered then.

It comes as Deputy First Minister John Swinney said he could not rule out making further changes to current lockdown restrictions - and that the rules currently in place could be extended. 

He said there is "every likelihood" of stricter rules if "human interaction" is not reduced.

So what could be changed?


The First Minister has hinted earlier this week that fast food takeaways – including big name chains – may have to close.

It’s thought they would instead rely on deliveries, much like in the early lockdown back in March.

Click and Collect

Ms Sturgeon also suggested that shops currently operating a Click and Collect system would have to halt doing so under changes to the rules. 

She said: “The kind of issues we will be looking at – do we have to tighten up to reduce the number of people who are moving around any further?

“I talked last week about perhaps reducing click and collect, essential retail only, to maybe looking at further restrictions on takeaways,” she said.

"We've not reached decisions on these things yet, but these are the kinds of things we'll be considering at our meeting and then I'll set out any decisions that we reach in the normal way."

Face coverings outdoors

Discussions are being raised south of the Border around potential new rules around face coverings. 

It’s thought there, coverings may become mandatory in some outdoor settings – such as supermarket queues – and businesses could be asked to tighten up their rules around office workers wearing masks while at work.

Glasgow Times:

When previously asked about the wearing of coverings outdoors, Ms Sturgeon said “I am not going to rule anything out. 

“But in a pandemic we are trying to get everything we can to get transmission under control. Low impact is maybe not as good as high impact but it’s better than no impact.”

“So anything that we might think can make a contribution to this massive effort to keep the virus under control, we will consider.”

Tougher restrictions on exercise

One other possible area being looked at is the levels of interaction during exercise outdoors.

During the first lockdown, people in Scotland were limited to one portion of outdoor daily activity. 

Speaking during the Scottish Government's coronavirus briefing, Ms Sturgeon said: "When we mean go out for essential exercise, that's what we mean – to get exercise, to get some fresh air. 

"We've not put limits on that like we did in the first lockdown.

"What we don't mean by essential exercise is going for a day trip with other people to the beach or to a park. 

"I know that sounds harsh but it is really important right now that all of us stay at home as much as we possibly can.”

Glasgow Times:

And Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer said people should not be meeting outside to have coffees on park benches. 

He said: "Go outside to take exercise. 

"It's important that we're still participating in physical activities. It's good for us both physically and mentally.

"But don't be going outside to meet each other, have a cup of coffee, sit on a park bench, things like that. 

"You're only putting yourself at risk and the other person at risk as well.”

Tougher police enforcement

Looking south of the Border, police in England will now be quicker to issue £200 fines to people breaking lockdown restrictions.

New police guidance there, published on January 6, says the goal for police should be to “encourage voluntary compliance”, but that enforcement can be applied “without repeated attempts to encourage people to comply with the law”. 

This new move could spark a similar response in Scotland and comes as four people were arrested after protesters clashed with police at an anti-lockdown demonstration.

A small crowd gathered at Holyrood at around 12pm on Monday to take part in the Scotland Against Lockdown event.

Community liaison officers warned those who were in attendance that they would face a fine if they stay at the location, however many refused to leave.

Glasgow Times:

In a statement, a Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that four people were arrested and charged in connection with alleged breaches of coronavirus regulations at a planned demonstration at the Scottish Parliament today.

“All are due to appear in Edinburgh Sheriff Court in due course.

“One other person was charged with police obstruction and will be the subject of a report to the Procurator Fiscal.

“Two other people were given fixed penalty notices for breaching coronavirus regulations.”

Superintendent David Robertson, from Edinburgh Police Division, said: “The Scottish Government regulations are clear that no marches or parades are allowed due to the restrictions in place.

“Officers were on hand to engage with those who wanted to take part, explain the restrictions and used enforcement as a last resort where it was required.”