Two million people in Scotland prepare for strictest coronavirus rules

The level-four rules are to come into force in 11 council areas, including Glasgow, at 6pm on Friday. The restrictions will remain in place until 11 December.

Non-essential shops will close, as will restaurants, pubs and bars, hairdressers, gyms and visitor attractions.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon this week announced the “unpalatable but necessary” step of moving parts of west and central Scotland from Level 3 to Level 4 for three weeks.

She said this was due to “stubbornly and worryingly high” infection rates.

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The areas moving to Level 4 are Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, Stirling and West Lothian.

A ban on people in Level 3 and Level 4 areas travelling outside of their council boundaries for non-essential purposes will also come into law.

People still cannot meet in each other’s homes, with exceptions for extended households and those providing care.

Socialising outdoors also remains limited to six people from two households.

Takeaway services and essential work-related accommodation can continue but indoor sports facilities and all leisure and entertainment venues will close.

Places of worship remain open but with a limit of 20 people with the same for funerals, while weddings and civil partnerships have a maximum of 15 attendees – including the couple.

Schools will also remain open with enhanced and targeted protective measures.

This comes despite teaching unions and industry bodies criticising the move and calling for a return to blended learning for pupils.

Midlothian and East Lothian will have their Covid-19 restrictions eased as they move from Level 3 to Level 2 while the remaining 19 council areas will not change.