FROM Friday, Scots will not be able to travel to or from areas under lockdown levels 3 or 4 under penalty of law, except for “essential purposes”.

Nicola Sturgeon announced that the guidance around restricting non-essential travel would be brought into law in order to “underline how important this is”. The travel restrictions mean that people in Renfrewshire should avoid travelling into any other council areas if possible and keep local travel to a minimum.

Outlining the new law, the First Minister said it “means people living in level 3 or level 4 must not travel outside their own council area, expect for certain essential purposes.

“People living elsewhere in Scotland must not travel to level 3 or level 4, except for essential purposes.

“And there must be no non-essential travel between Scotland and other parts of the UK.”

According to the Scottish Government’s own strategic framework, “exemptions for essential travel [include] work, education, shopping, health etc; outdoor exercise; weddings and funerals; shared parenting, and transit through restricted areas”.

This list of exemptions including things such as shopping and outdoor exercise means that the new law is likely to be very difficult to police.

However, Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf hinted on Twitter that these exemptions may change.

Yousaf wrote: “Not easy decision but will move travel restrictions into law from Friday.

“If you live in a Level 3 or Level 4 area it will be against the law to travel outside of your council area (there will be exemptions we will detail). So important we all take responsibility & continue to abide by rules.”

The First Minister echoed Yousaf’s message, adding that she “cannot stress enough how important is it that we all abide by these rules.”

She added: “The levels system is still allowing us to avoid a national, one-size-fits-all lockdown such as is currently in place in England.

“But the ability to maintain that targeted approach depends on us not spreading the virus from high to low prevalence areas, and that becomes even more important with parts of the country in level 4.”