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Stay at home exemptions clarified

By David Porter

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To minimise the risk of spreading the virus, you must stay at home as much as possible.

By law, in a Level 4 area, you can leave your home (or garden) only if you have a reasonable excuse to leave your home except for an essential purpose.

Covid-19 testing will be allowed under the Level 4 reasons for travel.
Covid-19 testing will be allowed under the Level 4 reasons for travel.

There is a list of examples of reasonable excuses which has been updated by the Scottish Government today -

Although you can leave home for these purposes, you should stay as close to home as possible.

Examples of reasonable excuses to go out:

For work or an activity associated with seeking employment, or to provide voluntary or charitable services, but only where that cannot be done from your home.

For education including, school, college, university or other essential purposes connected with a course of study.

For essential shopping, including essential shopping for a vulnerable person. You should use online shopping or shops and other services in your immediate area wherever you can.

To obtain or deposit money, where it is not possible to do so from home.

For healthcare, including Covid-19 testing and vaccination.

For childcare or support services for parents or expectant parents.

For essential services, including services of a charitable or voluntary nature such as food banks, alcohol or drug support services.

To access public services where it is not possible to do so, including from home:

Services provided to victims (such as victims of crime), social-care services, accessing day care centres, services provided by the Department for Work and Pensions, services provided to victims (including victims of crime), asylum and immigration services and interviews,

Waste or recycling services,

To provide care, assistance, support to or respite for a vulnerable person

To provide or receive emergency assistance.

To participate in or facilitate shared parenting.

To visit a person in an extended household.

To meet a legal obligation including satisfying bail conditions, to participate in legal proceedings, to comply with a court mandate in terms of sentence imposed or to register a birth.

For attendance at court including a remote jury centre, an inquiry, a children’s hearing, tribunal proceedings or to resolve a dispute via Alternative Dispute Resolution.

For essential animal welfare reasons, such as exercising or feeding a horse or going to a vet.

Local outdoor recreation, sport or exercise, walking, cycling, golf, or running that starts and finishes at the same place (which can be up to five miles from the boundary of your local authority area) as long as you abide by the rules on meeting other households.

To attend a marriage ceremony or registration of a civil partnership.

To attend a funeral or for compassionate reasons which relate to the end of a person’s life. This includes gatherings related to the scattering or interring of ashes, a stone setting ceremony and other similar commemorative events.

If you are a minister of religion or worship leader, for the purposes of leading an act of worship (broadcast or online), conducting a marriage or civil partnership ceremony or a funeral.

To donate blood.

For activities in connection with moving home (including viewing a property), or for activities in connection with the maintenance, purchase, sale, letting, or rental of residential property that the person owns or is otherwise responsible for. Travelling for the purposes of undertaking essential work on a property other than your main residence should not be used as a pretext for a holiday. You should not stay longer than for the length of time required to undertake the necessary work.

To avoid injury, illness or to escape a risk of harm.

For those involved in professional sports, for training, coaching or competing in an event.

To visit a person receiving treatment in a hospital, staying in a hospice or care home, or to accompany a person to a medical appointment.

To register or vote in a Scottish or UK Parliament, Local Government or overseas election or by-election, including on behalf of someone else by proxy.

To visit a person detained in prison, young offenders institute, remand centre, secure accommodation or other place of detention.

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