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How do the new Covid-19 restriction levels change what children can and can’t do in Scotland?

With Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire placed in level two, and Moray, Highlands and Islands placed into level one we’ve taken a look at what this means for children.

Under the current guidelines, children under 12 do not count towards the maximum number of households or people who can meet outdoors.

They also do not have to physically distance in gardens or public spaces.

For those between the age of 12 and 17, a maximum of six can meet outdoors, with no limits on the number of households. They are, however, still required to physically distance.

In places in level zero or one, where indoor gatherings are allowed, children under 12 from those households permitted to meet, are not counted towards the six people limit.

In areas in level two, three and four, no indoor gatherings are permitted. Children only may enter another household for childcare purposes. At level four informal childcare is only available to essential workers.

Children under-12 can continue to play outside with their friends in all levels, however, those aged 12-17 must stick to social distancing and the limits of numbers of people in a gathering. Household limits do not apply.

Here’s what this means for each of the levels, as set out by the Scottish Government.

Tier 0

  • A maximum of eight people from three households can meet indoors. Children do not count towards the number of people.
  • Outdoors, a maximum of 15 people from five households can meet. Again children do not count towards either figure.
  • Children or adults should not travel to or from Tier 3 areas in Scotland and the equivalent areas in the rest of the UK.
  • Formal childcare will be open with standard protective measures in place.
  • Informal childcare is also permitted in line with restrictions on households and the number of people.
  • Schools are open with protective measures in place.
  • Unregulated children’s activities such as youth groups and children’s groups are permitted.

Tier 1

  • A maximum of six people from two households can meet indoors. Children do not count towards the number of people. Indoor socialising may be stopped in some circumstances in Tier 1.
  • Outdoors, a maximum of six people from two households can meet. Again children do not count towards either figure.
  • Children or adults should not travel to or from Tier 3 areas in Scotland and the equivalent areas in the rest of the UK.
  • Formal childcare will be open with standard protective measures in place.
  • Informal childcare is also permitted in line with restrictions on households and the number of people.
  • Schools are open with protective measures in place.
  • Unregulated children’s activities such as youth groups and children’s groups are permitted.

Tier 2

  • No indoor socialising is permitted.
  • Outdoors, a maximum of six people from two households can meet outdoors and in hospitality settings (eg: pubs and restaurants). Again children do not count towards either figure.
  • Children or adults should not travel to or from Tier 3 areas in Scotland and the equivalent areas in the rest of the UK.
  • Formal childcare will be open with enhanced protective measures in place.  These could include additional use of face coverings, but will not include any further restrictions on capacity.
  • Informal childcare is also permitted in line with restrictions on households and the number of people. Only children are permitted to enter other households.
  • Schools are open with enhanced protective measures in place. These could include the use of face coverings in classrooms for older pupils.
  • Restrictions will apply for youth groups and children’s groups.

Tier 3

  • No indoor socialising is permitted.
  • Outdoors, a maximum of six people from two households can meet outdoors and in hospitality settings (e.g, pubs and restaurants). Again children do not count towards either figure.
  • Children or adults should not travel to or from their Tier 3 area.
  • Formal childcare will be open with enhanced protective measures in place.  These could include additional use of face coverings, but will not include any further restrictions on capacity.
  • Informal childcare is also permitted in line with restrictions on households and the number of people. Only children are permitted to enter other households.
  • Schools are open with enhanced protective measures in place. All staff and pupils should wear a face covering during lessons in the “senior phase”.
  • For those children or families who have shielding requirements, discussions should be had with a GP or clinician on whether they should attend.
  • Group sport and exercise will still be permitted for people under 18.
  • Restrictions will apply for youth groups and children’s groups.

Tier 4

  • No indoor socialising is permitted.
  • Outdoors, a maximum of six people from two households can meet outdoors. This no longer includes hospitality settings. Again children do not count towards either figure.
  • No non-essential travel out of or into a Tier 4 area is permitted. Restrictions on travel distance and a requirement to stay at home may be issued at this point. There are exemptions for essential travel, which includes education. 
  • Public transport should only be used for essential purposes.
  • Formal childcare will be open, however, “targeted intervention” could see capacity impacted.
  • Informal childcare is only permitted for essential workers. Restrictions on household and people numbers should still be followed, with only children allowed to enter other households.
  • Schools are open with enhanced and targetted protective measures in place. This could see class sizes cut. All staff and pupils should wear a face covering during lessons in the “senior phase”.
  • Children on the shielding list should not attend school in person.
  • Group sport and exercise will still be permitted for people under 18 outdoors. All indoor exercise will be stopped with gyms closed.
  • Restrictions will apply to youth groups and children’s groups. Indoor activities will not be permitted.
  • Visitor attractions and entertainment venues are closed as are hospitality venues with the exception of takeaway.

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