NICOLA Sturgeon has announced that 11 council areas across western and central Scotland will be moved into level 4 restrictions from 6pm tonight.

They will remain at this level until 11 December.

The First Minister agreed the move with her Cabinet last Tuesday morning (November 17) and told Holyrood that afternoon.

She said the decision had been reached as virus levels remained high in these areas and it was needed in order to save lives and prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed.

The 11 council areas moving to level 4 are:

East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, Renfrewshire, West Dunbartonshire, North and South Lanarkshire, East and South Ayrshire, Stirling and West Lothian. Around 2.3 million live in the 11 areas.Here are the key restrictions which apply in level 4 – the highest tier of curbs under the Scottish Government's five level - 0 to 4 - framework to contain the virus.


Only essential retail will be able to remain open, providing the retailers follow and have implemented guidance to ensure the safety of customers and staff. Click and collect, online services and outdoor retail, such as garden centres, outdoor markets and car lots can also remain open.


All restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars must close. Takeaways can still operate as normal, provided food and drink is sold for consumption off premises.-


These “close contact services” must not operate in level 4. Other close contact services which have to close are dress-fitting and tailoring, massage therapies and spas, indoor portrait photography. Tattoo artists and piercing serivices must close as must complementary and alternative medicine services requiring physical contact also must shut. Osteopathy and chiropractic services are exempt.


All public sector buildings such as libraries or community centres will be closed, however, library click and collect services may still operate in level 4.


Driving lessons with more than one person in a vehicle should not be held.


All indoor visitor attractions such as museums, galleries, heritage attractions, indoor areas of zoos and aquariums are closed. Outdoor visitor attractions, such as parks, gardens and the outdoor areas of zoos may remain open.


Travel restrictions come into law tonight banning people who live in a level 3 or level 4 local authority area from travelling outside their local authority except for an essential purpose.

The regulations also prevent non-essential travel into a level 3 or 4 local authority area, except for the same reasons. 


People are permitted to meet others outdoors, following the rules about meeting other households, for informal exercise or sports.

All organised sports for all age groups are permitted, provided appropriate safety measures are followed.


Schools will remain open with public health guidance in place, including the wearing of face coverings for older pupils in secondaries. Pupils in S4 to S6 and their teachers will have to wear face coverings in classrooms in level 3 and 4 areas.  


Indoors: You should not meet anyone who is not in your household indoors in your home or in their home. You can meet another household indoors in a public place. The maximum number of people who can meet indoors in a public (not a home) place are 6 which can be from up to 2 separate households. 

Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards the total number of people counted in a gathering.

Outdoors: You can meet people from other households outdoors in a private garden or in a public place such as a park. The maximum number of people who can meet outdoors is 6 which can be from up to 2 separate households.

Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards the total number of people counted in a gathering. Children under 12 do not need to maintain physical distance from others. This is to allow children under 12 to play with their friends outside.

Young people aged between 12 and 17 can meet up in groups of up to 6 at a time outdoors and are not subject to the 2 household limit. Physical distancing is required.

Where an individual household includes more than 6 people, they can continue to meet outside as a household even if the total number of people exceeds 6.

Both indoors and outdoors people must respect 2m social distancing rules.


In addition to the above, a legal travel ban is also being introduced which does not allow people to travel in and out of level 4 and level 3 areas to areas placed on a lower tier of restrictions. The move is designed to stop people carrying the virus into areas where it is at lower level in the community.