Q&A Scotland’s Route Map – Changes after 22 September

 Q&A Scotland’s Route Map – Changes after 22 September


What are the new meeting rules for socialising indoors?

You cannot meet people from any other households indoors in your home or another person’s home socially, unless they are in your extended household. These rules also apply to children, however children whose parents do not live in the same household can move between homes. Exemptions apply for childcare.

What are the exemptions to the rule?

The rules apply to people meeting socially. The current approach to exemptions for informal childcare and shared parenting and tradespersons will continue. Children whose parents do not live in the same household can move between homes.

Can I meet people socially in other settings indoors?

You can meet people from one other household at a time, up to a maximum of 6 people, in public indoor spaces such as cafes, pubs and restaurants.

Children under 12 from the two households meeting do not count towards the maximum of 6 people.

What about vulnerable people, can I visit their home?

You can go into someone’s house to provide essential care or support such as delivering shopping, but you should be careful to follow good hygiene measures.

What are the new household meeting rules for outdoors?

A maximum of 6 people from 2 households will still be permitted to meet together outdoors – including outside areas of, pubs and restaurants – and outdoors including in private gardens. There will be some limited exemptions.

Children under 12 won’t count towards the 2 household limit or the limit of 6 people.

Children aged 12-17 can meet in a group of up to 6 people who are all aged under 18 outdoors. Physical distancing is still required. This position will be monitored carefully and reviewed based evidence of transmission and incidence of the virus in this age group.

Can I enter someone’s house in order to reach their garden / use their toilet?

If you are meeting another household in their garden, you should only go into their house to:

 access the garden – do so quickly and without touching anything;

 use the toilet – avoid touching surfaces with your hands as much as possible, wipe any surfaces that you do touch with antibacterial wipes, wash your hands thoroughly, dry your hands with a freshly laundered towel or a paper towel which you should dispose of in a closed bin.

What are the new household meeting rules for children and young people?

Children under 12 from the two households meeting outdoors do not count in the maximum number of households or people that can meet outdoors. They do not need to maintain physical distancing. This means that an adult from another household looking after young children does not need to physically distance from the child. However, care should be taken to follow hygiene measures and keep proximity to a minimum where possible.

Young people aged 12 to 17 year olds can meet in a group of up to 6 people, who can be from 6 different households, who are all aged under 18 outdoors. Physical distancing is still required. This position will be monitored carefully and reviewed based evidence of transmission and incidence of the virus in this age group.

What is the scientific evidence to agree the under 12 exemption?

At present, on the balance of known risks, children under 12 are not required to physically distance due to the greatly reduced chance of them contracting the virus, and according to the Advisory sub-group for Education and Children, transmission risk in this age group is understood to be limited.

Can children under 12 years of age play outside with their friends or do they have to follow the 2 household, 6 people rule?

Children under 12 do not count towards the maximum number of households or people who can meet outdoors and do not have to physically distance.

Why are you restricting the rules on who people can meet?

There has been a marked increase in the number of infections in recent weeks and it has been concluded that it is necessary to tighten some existing restrictions, to help curb the spread of the virus especially between and within households.

What is your evidence base for reducing the household meeting rules?

The decision was informed by analysis showing that the higher the number of people and households that meet and interact, the greater the risk of transmission. Therefore it made sense, as transmission is rising, to tighten the limit.

Why do you need the ‘2 household part’ – UKG don’t think it’s necessary – aren’t they following the same science?

The current evidence tells us that it is the interaction between households that is important in terms of reducing the spread of the virus – that is why we have included 2 households in the limit (up to a maximum of 6 people) who can meet outdoors or in indoor public places.

You cannot meet people from any other households indoors in your home or another person’s home socially, unless they are in your extended household.

What about large families?

A household with more than 6 people (not including children under 12) can continue to gather socially.

How do these changes affect extended households?

There is no change to your ability to form an extended household. An extended household can be formed when there is only one adult in one of the households or (for non-cohabiting couples, plus any children living with the adult. People in an extended household are treated as being in the same household. They can visit each other, stay overnight and do not need to physically distance. But you can only be part of one extended household.

Does this effect the number of households I can meet in a day?

You should limit as far as possible the total number of households you meet in a day.

Do these changes apply in hospitality settings?

There continues to be a maximum of 6 people from 2 households in hospitality settings, both indoors and outdoors. 2

What if I’m a student living in a halls of residence with more than 6 people?

If your student accommodation is provided in the form of flats with shared cooking and bathroom facilities, each “cluster flat” will normally be considered a household.

If your accommodation is provided in a different format, for example longer corridors of single rooms, the composition of “household” will be informed by the areas shared by groups of students (such as bathrooms).

Members of the same household do not need to physically distance from each other but should stay 2m away from people from other households.

If I live in student accommodation, can I still hold a social gathering?

The same rules apply to students as to everyone else. From 14 September 2020, restrictions on parties in private dwellings applied to student accommodation. This makes it an offence to attend a party in student accommodation as it currently is in other forms of private dwelling

There is an exception for students living in student accommodation to use cooking, dining, toilet or washing facilities which are shared with any person who is not a member of their household.

Do these restriction apply to the whole of Scotland, what about the local restrictions in place?

These are new nationwide measures and will supersede the equivalent local restrictions which have been in place in recent weeks in seven local authority areas: Glasgow; East and West Dunbartonshire; Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire; and North and South Lanarkshire. Specific restrictions imposed in respect of the west of Scotland in a range of respects need to remain in place for now but are subject to regular review by the National Incident Management Team as part of targeted package in place in those areas.

What about the Islands where the R rate is consistently low

The rules currently apply nationwide – however we will continue to discuss with those three local authorities whether any exemptions should apply in their areas – possibly alongside stronger guidance or restrictions on travel to and from the mainland


Will this have any impact on Childcare, including ELC and school wraparound care?

No. The restriction does not apply where there is sector specific guidance in force.

Can parents still use grandparents / friends as childcare and does this count towards their limit?

Informal childcare can continue within the new household limits. We are encouraging people to limit the number of daily interactions that they have with other households.

Could your child go for a playdate in the morning to someone’s house, then a sibling (or the whole family) have another household or child over in the evening?

You cannot meet people from any other households indoors in your home or another person’s home socially, unless they are in your extended household. These rules also apply to children.

A maximum of 6 people from 2 households will still be permitted to meet together outdoors at any one time. Any children under 12 who are part of two households meeting up won’t count towards the limit of 6 people.

Young people aged 12 to 17 year olds can meet in a group of up to 6 people who are all aged under 18 outdoors. Physical distancing is still required. 23 September 2020


You should also limit as far as possible the total number of households you meet in a day.

If children under 12 are exempt from making up the number of people to 6, can the children be from more than one household or not ie if children have siblings only one child in the family can have a friend over, meet a friend in a park etc?

You cannot meet people from any other households indoors in your home or another person’s home socially, unless they are in your extended household. These rules also apply to children.

A maximum of 6 people from 2 households will still be permitted to meet together outdoors at any one time. Any children under 12 who are part of two households meeting up won’t count towards the limit of 6 people.

You should also limit as far as possible the total number of households you meet in a day.

A child’s party planned for this weekend with 5 kids (from same class but different households) in a garden could no longer go ahead?

The rules mean that only 2 households can meet up to a limit of 6 people outdoors. Any children from those 2 households won’t count towards the 6.

A child who has a nanny coming to the house would that be the household ‘meet up’ for the day for the whole house?

There is guidance in place for early learning, childcare and childminding services.

Is there clarity on number of households per day? Could families in theory meet friends in the morning then in the afternoon?

We are encouraging people to limit the number of interactions that they have.

Can there be more clarity on what is allowed and where for kids parties?

The rules on gatherings would apply to all parties – no indoor visiting, and a maximum of 6 people from 2 households in any outdoor setting. Any children under 12 who are part of two households don’t count towards the limit of 6 people.


Many organised indoor and outdoor activities (adult and child) are / have restarted – what will the impact be for these? e.g. October school holiday clubs, sports clubs, other clubs, toddler groups.

These changes will not impact on organised activity. Relevant guidance should be followed.

Will this impact on swimming pools reopening and the planned reopening of soft plays?

Swimming pools are permitted to open and organised sport is permitted – relevant guidance is in place. Soft play is currently closed.

Can I still participate in sport?

You can participate in organised sport, where there are the necessary risk assessments and sport specific guidance in place. People meeting friends for informal sport would need to abide by the rules on meeting other households.

Can I continue to participate in organised outdoor sports like five-a-side football?

There is no change to the rules around this, but everyone should adhere to the clear guidance that in place with includes enhanced hygiene measures and providing contact details to enable contact tracing. 23 September 2020


Can I still play golf with more than one other adult?

People meeting friends for a recreational game of golf would need to abide by the rules on meeting other households. If it is an organised event then greater numbers might be permitted depending on the specific guidance.


How do the new household limits affect weddings and funerals?

The maximum number of people who can attend a funeral, a marriage ceremony or a civil partnership registration remains fixed at 20. That limit of 20 also applies to wakes or wedding and civil partnership receptions in regulated premises. Receptions or wakes taking place in a private dwelling, including a garden need to comply with the new household meeting rules.

Is the number of 20 inclusive of children at a wedding and at the wedding reception?

Children are counted as part of the maximum of 20 people for funerals, marriages and civil partnerships, including wakes and receptions.


Has everything changed?

A consistent approach has been taken to the key principles and they remain the same. Everyone who can work from home, should be working from home. That is a crucial step that people can take to suppress the virus and to minimize spread.

Where that is not possible, please remember to avoid rush hours and crowded places where possible and when at work to follow the health and safety advice in place to make your working environment as safe as possible.

Remember the FACTS:

F – face coverings – wear these in enclosed spaces.

A – avoid crowded places, for example bars which look a bit too busy.

C – clean your hands and any hard surfaces.

T – 2 m distancing. Keeping your distance from friends and family can be really difficult. But it’s an important and effective way of reducing transmission.

S – self isolate. If you have symptoms, self isolate and book a test. If you are named as a contact of someone with Covid, self isolate for 14 days and get a test if you develop symptoms.


When is it necessary to self-isolate?

If you have symptoms, don’t go out, don’t go to work, self-isolate, and book a test. If you test positive, follow the advice from Test and Protect to isolate for ten days, and for anyone in your household to isolate for 14 days. Similarly, if you are identified as a contact of someone with Covid, you should isolate for 14 days.

What are you doing to offset financial impacts of self-isolation?

The Scottish Government will introduce new financial support arrangements for people on low incomes who face a loss of income if they are required isolate. More detail on this will be announced soon. 23 September 2020


Who will be eligible for the financial support?

The details of that package are being worked through at present, and we also await information from the UK Government on additional Barnett consequentials as a result of announcements made by them over the weekend

England has introduced fine for those that don’t self-isolate will Scottish Government ?

While enforcement options will be kept under review, we do have a concern about potential disincentives of fines and enforcement to people getting tested. A better approach is to “remove barriers” to self-isolation.

What are you doing to ensure people comply

The Scottish Government will step up communication to support understanding and compliance with the steps we need to take to keep ourselves and each other safe. Self-isolation will be supported through new financial support arrangements for those on low incomes. The Scottish Government is investing additional resources to increase the number of Environmental Health Officers and working closely with Police Scotland to engage with the public, explain the rules and guidance, encourage compliance and, where necessary, enforce them.

What financial support will be available to business when the UK Government Furlough Scheme comes to an end?

The reintroduction of some restrictions makes it even more urgent for the UK Government to extend the furlough scheme.

It is not clear what other routes for more dedicated sectoral support the UKG is considering – these would need to be clear to us and to employers and workers well in advance of the end of the furlough scheme.

The UK Government has said it will close the furlough scheme on 31 October – why are you calling for its extension?

It is important to remember that the reason people are on furlough is because there are public health restrictions in place which limit some businesses and workers.

The statistics show that sectors that have been able to reopen have much lower rates of people still on furlough. Rates are still high in sectors that have not yet reopened.

For as long as public health restrictions are required, people should not be punished for doing the right thing.


What changes are happening in hospitality?

Pubs, restaurants and all hospitality settings will be required to close at 10pm.

Can I still go to pubs and restaurants with friends?

You can meet people from one other household at a time, up to a maximum of 6 people, in public indoor spaces such as cafes, pubs and restaurants.

Children under 12 from the two households meeting do not count towards the maximum of 6 people.

Guidance should be followed at all times.

Why are the rules different for indoor meetings in my house and meetings in a pub or restaurant?

Hospitality settings have strict guidance that they have to follow to make it safe. A maximum of six people from up to two households can still meet in a hospitality setting, as long as relevant rules are followed at all times. 23 September 2020


Is car sharing permitted?

You should only share a vehicle with those from your household or extended household. However, if you have no other option, you should follow the safe travel guidance at the Transport Scotland website which provides advice on how to share vehicles safely.

On such occasions, you should:

  • share the transport whether it is a car or minibus or other private vehicle with the same people each time
  • keep to small groups of people at any one time
  • maintain good ventilation by keeping the car windows open if possible
  • ask everyone, unless they are exempt, to wear a face-covering
  • clean your hands before and after your journey
  • and if the vehicle is your responsibility clean the door handles and other areas that people touch


Protect Scotland - Apps on Google Play


SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor has urged people in Coatbridge & Chryston to download the new ‘Protect Scotland’ app – to help slow the spread of Coronavirus and support the easing of lockdown restrictions. 

The app can be downloaded onto phones and will let users know if they have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.  

The app will automatically alert users if someone reports that they’ve tested positive for Covid-19 and that they have been in close contact recently.

No personal identifiable information will be entered on the app and the Scottish Government has assured that it will not monitor the location of individuals as the app uses Bluetooth technology, and not GPS, to identify contacts.

Since launching last night, the app has already been downloaded more than 50,000 times. 

SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor said:

“The Scottish Government has now launched the ‘Protect Scotland’ proximity tracing app, to help stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus and complement the person-to-person approach of Test and Protect.

“The app – which takes less than a minute to download – will allow us to alert people at risk far more quickly, so that we can all take steps to reduce the risk of infecting others. 

“Scotland’s official contact tracing app will help us all to protect ourselves, our family, our friends and our community by enabling faster contact tracing.

“The more people who have the app, the more it can help to slow the spread of Coronavirus.

“That’s why I’m urging people in Coatbrige & Chryston to download the app, and let’s all protect Scotland.”



An estimated 13,000 children across North Lanarkshire could benefit from the Scottish Government’s ground breaking anti-poverty payment, new figures have revealed.

The Scottish Child Payment will be worth £10 per child for low-income families by the end of 2022, with introduction for under-6s starting by early 2021.

Latest figures from the Scottish Fiscal Commission estimate that 194,000 children aged under six in Scotland will be eligible for the new Scottish Child Payment – with nearly 30,000 children and families estimated to benefit in North Lanarkshire.

The brand new benefit was described as a “game changer” and a “lifeline” by anti-poverty campaigners and is central to the SNP’s ambitions to tackle child poverty.

Commenting, SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor said:

“The Scottish Child Payment is an ambitious and ground-breaking new benefit which will directly tackle child poverty across the country. 

“This support is needed more than ever, and when this additional £10 per week per child becomes available in February, it will be a lifeline for many such families in North Lanarkshire.  

“It will help reduce financial pressures and demonstrates the potential of social security to make a positive difference and reflect our society’s shared values of compassion and fairness.

“Tory cuts are driving too many families in North Lanarkshire into poverty – but the SNP is determined to use every power at our disposal to help families make ends meet.”






MSP for Coatbridge & Chryston, Fulton MacGregor, has issued fresh calls for the UK government to extend the furlough scheme into 2021 – after Germany indicated that it will look to extend its version of the scheme to 24 months.


The UK Tory Chancellor has already cut back on the Job Retention Scheme, with the furlough scheme set to end entirely on 31st October 2020.


With chains such as Boots, Royal Mail Delivery and Carphone Warehouse, who employ hundreds of staff across Coatbridge & Chryston, announcing widescale job loses – the SNP MSP has said a premature end to the furlough scheme in the middle of a global pandemic would be ‘catastrophic’ to the local economy.


Commenting, SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor said:


“In the past few weeks alone we’ve seen businesses such as Boots, Royal Mail Delivery and Carphone Warehouse, announce substantial job loses that could affect staff here in Coatbridge & Chryston.


“In European countries like Germany, reports of an extension to their version of the furlough scheme will come as a welcome relief to millions of workers and businesses who are worried about their future.


“Yet in stark contrast, the UK Tory Chancellor at Westminster is choosing to prematurely shut down our furlough scheme and throw thousands of Scottish jobs on the scrap heap.


“The jobs and livelihoods of working families here in Coatbridge & Chryston are on the line. It’s time for the UK government to rethink its catastrophic plans to scrap the furlough scheme early and extend the measures into 2021.


“If they continue to refuse, then the Tories should let Holyrood have these powers so Scotland can take the action we need to save jobs.”




SNP MSP for Coatbridge & Chryston, Fulton MacGregor, has said new funding from the Scottish Government will help provide targeted support for care experienced young people in North Lanarkshire.


North Lanarkshire has been handed £712,800 to invest in projects designed to boost the attainment of local care experienced children and young people.


The council will work with Chief Social Workers, and Directors of Education, to decide how this year’s funding will be used. Care experienced young people from birth up to the age of 26 are eligible for the support.


Across Scotland, the SNP Government has pledged £11.6 million to support the fund.


Commenting, Fulton MacGregor MSP said:


“The SNP is determined to give all young people the best start in life.


“The challenges posed by this pandemic mean that the Scottish Government’s efforts to tackle the attainment gap are now more important than ever.


“That’s why I’m delighted to hear that North Lanarkshire will receive this funding boost to help break down the barriers faced by care experienced young people living in Coatbridge & Chryston.


“Last year the fund was used to support a host of projects – from outdoor learning schemes, to providing looked after children with laptops to study from home.


“I look forward to seeing how the council will put this money to good use, and offer some of our most disadvantaged pupils the support they deserve.”



job start payment party

Local MSP for Coatbridge & Chryston, Fulton MacGregor has welcomed a new Scottish benefit introduced today that will help 16 to 24-year olds into work if they have been unemployed for over six months.


The SNP Scottish Government’s Job Start Payment is a one-off grant of £250 to help with the costs of starting a new job.


The upper age limit rises to 25 for care leavers and the payment rises to £400 if the person has a child.


It is estimated around 5,000 young people across Scotland will benefit from this new financial support in its first year.


Commenting, SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor said:


“The job prospects of young people in Coatbridge & Chryston have been hit hard by this pandemic.


“So, this announcement of extra support to help our young people into work really couldn’t come at a better time.


“This payment will help local people with the extra expenses that are often attached to a starting a new job, such as travel costs, new work clothes or even childcare.


“In Government, the SNP is working hard to create new opportunities for work as we rebuild our economy. I’d encourage anyone in Coatbridge & Chryston who thinks they may be eligible to apply online.”


SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor has welcomed a Holyrood vote approving £16.941 million extra funding for North Lanarkshire in light of the coronavirus pandemic.


Almost £258 million extra funding has been approved for vital local services across Scotland, such as food provision for those in need, education and social care.

The Scottish Government is in discussions with local authorities over providing a further £72 million – which will bring the total additional funding to almost £330 million.

This extra funding is on top of the local government finance settlement of £11.4 billion, which already provided an increase of £589.4 million (5.8%) compared to the previous year.

SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor said:

“The pandemic has put real pressure on families and local services, and it’s right that the Scottish Government has ensured North Lanarkshire has more cash to deal with this.

“This funding boost is supporting access to food, welfare payments and frontline services.

“I also welcome the additional flexibility given to councils in how money is spent, allowing resources to be diverted to the COVID-19 response if required.”



Commenting on today’s announcement from the Scottish Government that schools will return full-time in August, without distancing, if Scotland continues to make progress on suppressing the coronavirus – Fulton MacGregor MSP for Coatbridge & Chryston said:


“Thanks to the united effort of people here in Coatbridge & Chryston, and across Scotland, who have stuck to government advice we have now made significant progress in the fight against COVID-19.


“I’m absolutely delighted by today’s announcement that if we stay on the right path, and continue to suppress this virus, our young people can return to school full time from August.


“This is an important step not only in ensuring our young people get the education they deserve, but it’s also positive news for working families.


“I want to send my gratitude to our amazing teachers and school staff in Coatbridge & Chryston who have helped us get to this stage.


“There’s a lot of work ahead of us, but this SNP Scottish Government is working hard to support families and communities across the country.”




SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor has praised the thousands of North Lanarkshire residents who have signed up to volunteering schemes during the pandemic.

1182 have volunteered with the British Red Cross in North Lanarkshire while 1836 have signed up to Volunteer Scotland, according to new figures provided by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe).

While not all volunteers have been called upon, many have started to deliver food parcels, ensure essential supplies and medicines reach vulnerable people and phone those who need assistance or companionship.

Scotland Cares links British Red Cross and Volunteer Scotland schemes to local authority and third sector activity in communities, creating a pool of volunteers for local organisations to draw upon and deploy as required.

Volunteers are matched with local needs in a range of organisational settings, when those needs arise. It is up to the requesting organisation to decide how and when volunteers are deployed.

SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor said:

“The pandemic has been difficult for everyone, and many in our communities have depended on the help offered by others.

“The thousands of people in North Lanarkshire who have volunteered to help are a real credit to their community and I want to thank each and every person who has signed up.

“Not all volunteers have been needed so far, but volunteers will play a critical role in supporting and rebuilding our communities – and many will be asked to help in the weeks and months to come.”


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MSP for Coatbridge & Chryston, Fulton MacGregor, has said pupils living in North Lanarkshire’s most deprived communities will benefit from targeted funding from the Attainment Scotland Fund to help close the poverty-related attainment gap.


North Lanarkshire Council will receive a £7,478,859 investment from the SNP Scottish Government to support pupils from deprived backgrounds.


To help mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, schools and local authorities will have flexibility to redirect some of this funding from existing plans to best support the most vulnerable and disadvantaged families, with a continued focus on equity in education.


The £50 million package is in addition to the £250 million Pupil Equity Funding package announced in May for the next two years and an investment of £9 million to provide 25,000 laptops to assist pupils learning at home.


Commenting, SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor said:


“In Government, the SNP has put closing the poverty-related attainment gap front and centre of its plans to improve education.


“This latest funding boost for Coatbridge & Chryston demonstrates this Government’s ambition to transform our schools and ensure that every young person gets the chance to succeed in life, regardless of their background.


“The Education Secretary, John Swinney, has also handed councils the flexibility to use this funding to help respond to the coronavirus pandemic so no child gets left behind.


“There’s still a lot to do in reducing poverty and inequality in Scotland – but universal benefits like free school meals for our youngest pupils, free prescriptions and free higher education are helping keep more money in the pockets of hard working families here in Coatbridge and Chryston.”