Can I move house during lockdown in Scotland?

Nicola Sturgeon announces 'stay at home' order in Scotland

Scotland will be back under stay at home orders from Tuesday, January 5 as Covid cases remain at concerning levels in the country. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the lockdown will essentially return Scotland “to a position similar to the lockdown of last March”. The restrictions will be in place for the entirety of January, and will be subject to regular review.

Ms Sturgeon told MSPs on Monday: “The evidence is now compelling that the new variant is up to 70 percent more transmissible than previously circulating strains, and that it may add as much as 0.7 to the R number.

“And according to recent analysis of PCR test samples, it appears that the new variant already accounts for almost half of all new cases in Scotland.”

Ms Sturgeon added: “Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that I am more concerned about the situation we face now than I have been at any time since March last year.

“In the week from December 23 to 30, the seven day incidence of cases per 100,000 of the population increased by 65 percent – from 136 per 100,000 to 225 per 100,000.”

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Can I move house during lockdown in Scotland?

The guidance states in a level 4 area you can only leave your home (or garden) for “essential purposes”.

Some examples considered “reasonable excuses” to leave home include attending work, or for education purposes.

Leaving home to collect essential shopping, such as groceries, is also considered a reasonable excuse to leave home.

The Scottish Government guidance also includes moving home as a reasonable excuse for someone to leave their residence.

The guidance reads it is acceptable to leave home “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.”

The guidance adds: “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.”

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Can you still move house in England?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to announce new lockdown measures for England later on Monday, January 4.

During the last national lockdown in November, people were still allowed to move house providing Covid-secure guidelines were followed.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick tweeted last year: “Renters & homeowners will be able to move; Removal firms and estate agents can operate; Construction sites can and should continue; Tradespeople will be able to enter homes. But all must follow the Covid safety guidance.”

The current Government guidance for moving home in Tier 4 reads: “You can still move home.

“People outside your household or support bubble should not help with moving house unless absolutely necessary.

“Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work. If you are looking to move, you can go to property viewings.

“Follow the national guidance on moving home safely, which includes advice on social distancing, letting fresh air in, and wearing a face covering.”

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