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Covid in Scotland: Your questions answered on the new restrictions

By Paul O'Hare & Claire Diamond
BBC Scotland News

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  • Coronavirus pandemic
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With tighter coronavirus restrictions being reintroduced in Scotland, we asked what questions you wanted answered about the changes.

More than 1,600 of you have sent in a question about the new rules.

We got the answers to some of those asked most frequently from the Scottish government.

Can I car share with someone from another household? Susan, Glasgow

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No, you should not share a car with someone you don't live with. Under the new measures people should only car share with members of their own, or extended, household.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been clear about this. During Wednesday's Scottish government briefing, she said: "We know from Test and Protect data that sharing car journeys presents a risk of transmission.

"We're advising against car sharing with people outside your own household if possible - unless there is no alternative."

If there is no alternative to car sharing with members of another household then everyone in the car should follow the advice from Transport Scotland.

The advice includes mitigations like wearing face coverings and keeping the windows open to improve ventilation.

We have a family holiday booked to Greece for the October half term. Are we eligible for a full refund from our travel operator? Anne-Marie, Edinburgh

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On Tuesday, the first minister advised people not to book overseas holidays for the October break.

For those who have already made reservations the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) says normal cancellation charges will apply.

However, ABTA also recommends checking your travel insurance to see if you can make a claim.

Alternatively, it notes, customers have the right to transfer their package holiday to another person.

What time is last orders at the bar? Is it 21:45 or 22:00? John, Aberdeen

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Bars must close at 22:00 and therefore last orders must be before then.

But it's up to the bar to determine when before 22:00 is best to call last orders.

My daughter lives in Aberdeenshire. Will I be allowed to stay with her and her family? Karen, Yorkshire

No. Households in Scotland are not allowed to mix within homes.

However, exemptions are in place for extended households.

This is where a household with one adult joins one other household. People in extended households can visit each other, stay overnight and do not need to physically distance.

So, if Karen lives alone, she could form an extended household with her daughter's family and visit them inside their home provided she has not formed an extended household with anyone else.

I regularly run with a small group of friends. Can this continue? Lesley, Edinburgh

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No, not as a group involving more than two households.

You can still go out for a run, but only with one other household.

The Scottish government's guidance says: "You may meet outdoors with members of one other household, up to a maximum group size of six, for informal exercise or activity."

Going out for a run with a few friends would be classed as "informal exercise".

Can grandparents still provide childcare when both parents are at work? Jenny, Aberdeenshire

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Yes, they can - because there is an exemption under the new restrictions for "informal childcare".

Our 17-year-old has just started uni. Do the rules mean she can't come home during the holidays? Ellie, Edinburgh

That means they cannot go back home, as households in Scotland are not allowed to mix inside homes.

There was some confusion about this, after the Scottish government initially confirmed to BBC Scotland that students who had moved out should not return to their family homes.

Then the national clinical director Prof Jason Leitch said students in halls could return home for the weekend - as long as they are not self-isolating and do not have Covid symptoms.

But he has since said they cannot return home because they are now in separate households. He tweeted: "The law is clear: they can't meet indoors with another household - even mum and dad. Sorry."

There are exceptions - for example, to provide care for someone who needs it and for extended households.

My house went up for sale yesterday. Am I allowed to have people in my home to view it? Angela, Dundee

Members of the public are allowed to let people into their home to view it. This is because the restrictions are aimed at stopping socialising, as that's when public health experts say the virus is spreading.

To prevent transmission of the virus they are asked to keep a physical distance of at least 2m from others wherever possible, wash their hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching their face and ensure any surfaces people come into contact with are cleaned and disinfected regularly.

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