Scotland offers some of the most beautiful surroundings for a staycation, from the wild Highlands and Hebrides to the city break charm offered by Edinburgh and Glasgow.
But, as tighter restrictions and a second lockdown return across the UK, what are the rules around visiting and travelling around the country?
Here’s everything you need to know.
Am I allowed to travel to Scotland from the rest of the UK?
Until midnight Wednesday 4 November, it depends on where you’re going – and where you’re coming from.
England’s new three tier system has divided the country into “medium”, “high” and “very high risk” depending on the Covid-19 case rate. Those in areas categorised as medium are simply subject to the previous rules that were in place, such as not congregating in groups larger than six. These people should be able to travel to parts of Scotland without local restrictions in place without issue (as long as they abide by the rule of six).
Those travelling from “high” tier regions are subject to extra measures, including the banning of separate households socialising together indoors. This would prevent families or friends from different households from staying together in a cottage or similar accommodation.
Meanwhile, people hailing from designated “very high” risk areas have been advised not to travel outside their area at all (other than for work, education, accessing youth services or to meet caring responsibilities).
“People should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if they are resident in a ‘very high’ area, or avoid staying overnight in a ‘very high’ area if they are resident elsewhere,” says the government.
However, the advice not to travel is not legally binding.
From Thursday 5 November, a second nationwide lockdown starts in England, which bans domestic and international leisure travel.
It means those in England should not be travelling to Scotland for a holiday or for any purpose that’s not deemed essential and doing so would break the law.
Can I travel within Scotland?
Scotland has its own measures in place depending on the region, with a new five-level system coming into practice from 2 November, running from level zero to four. No areas will be in the highest levels to begin with, but the Central Belt region, plus Dundee, is in level three.
People outside of level three or four areas are being told not to travel there “unless they need to”. Those in other levels are advised not to cross into regions on different levels for non-essential reasons.
Within your own region, things are a little more flexible. Up to and including level three, hotels and holiday accommodation remain open.
The Scottish government said: “Those living in a Level three area can still use holiday accommodation in their area but should not stay in the same self-catered accommodation with another household.
“You can meet in a group of up to 6 people from up to 2 households indoors in a public setting in your holiday accommodation. You should not meet indoors in your bedroom or self-catered accommodation.”
Which areas are under level three restrictions?
Clackmannanshire, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow City, Inverclyde, Midlothian, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire, West Lothian and Dundee are all currently classed as level three.
Are hotels and campsites open?
All holiday accommodation can stay open in regions that are level three or below, in line with guidance.
Hotels and other accommodation providers can serve food to guests staying in their premises, for consumption in or outdoors. Alcohol may only be served as part of room service.
We can’t ‘magic away’ coronavirus, says Nicola Sturgeon
People from more than one household (or extended household) must not stay in self-catered accommodation together while the current restrictions on indoor private gatherings are in place. This includes accommodation such as a caravans, flats and holiday cottages.
If you are staying in a hotel, B&B or similar accommodation, you should not have more than one household (or extended household) staying in each room booked.
When an area enters level four, all holiday accommodation must close to tourists. Hotels, B&Bs and self-catering can remain open for essential customers only, such as those travelling for work.
Are restaurants, shops and attractions open?
Up to level three, restaurants can remain open, although a maximum of six people from two households can meet together, whether indoors or outdoors.
Table service is compulsory, as is wearing a mask when moving around the restaurant or not eating and drinking.
In level one areas, all hospitality premises must shut by 10.30pm; in level two alcohol is only permitted if sold alongside a meal; and, in level three areas, no alcohol can be sold and all establishments must close by 6pm.
News in pictures Show all 141 1 /141 News in pictures News in pictures UK-Best-Alton-Towers-PA.jpg Alton Towers Resort in Staffordshire unveils The Smiler, the world’s first 14-looped rollercoaster – setting a new Guinness World Record for the most inversions. The new £18 million record-breaking ride, which includes plunging 30 metre drops, is the biggest in the Resort’s history Fabio De Paola/PA News in pictures UK-Best-wasp-PA.jpg 9 May 2013: Esme Haigh from National Museum Scotland holds a 15-20 million year old piece of Mexican amber with a wasp inclusion on view at the Amazing Amber exhibition. The exhibition coincides with the 20th anniversary of the release of the blockbuster film Jurassic Park that featured a mosquito trapped in amber from which dinosaur DNA was supposed to have been taken. In recognition of the anniversary, the exhibition will display the cane, with its replica mosquito in amber PA News in pictures UK-Best-Beatles.jpg 9 May 2013: A rare VOX guitar played by George Harrison and John Lennon during The Beatles 1967 Magical Mystery Tour. The guitar is being auctioned by Julien’s Auctions in New York and is estimated to sell for between $200,000 and $300,000 US dollars. The VOX guitar is on public display at The Stafford London Hotel in St James PA News in pictures UK-Best-Skull-Getty.jpg 9 May 2013: Barbara Roling’s earthenware skull is shown at the Collect art fair at Saatchi Gallery in London, England. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year the Collect international art fair for contemporary objects, brings together galleries representing the work of numerous artists. Thirty two galleries and eleven Project Space artists have come together in the Saatchi Gallery Getty News in pictures UK-Best-orangutan-PA.jpg 9 May 2013: A female baby orangutan born at Paignton Zoo last month with her mother PA News in pictures UK-Best-HELSTON-Getty.jpg 8 May 2013: A performer with the Hal-an-Tow pageant takes part in a performance as part of the Helston Flora Day celebrations. The annual Flora Dance, also known as the Furry Dance, is one of the UK’s oldest customs still practised today and is said to be a celebration of the passing of Winter and the arrival of Spring. A series of dances take place throughout the day, beginning at 7am, all over the Cornish town and even in and out of private houses and shops Getty News in pictures UK-Best-Sir-Jasper-PA.jpg 6 May 2013: Sir Sam, right, is knocked off his horse by Sir Jasper, left, as the Knights of Royal England perform in a jousting tournament at Blenheim Palace, near Woodstock, Oxfordshire PA News in pictures UK-Best-Ballet–PA.jpg 5 May 2013: Dancers from The Irish National Youth Ballet in rehearsals in the Dance House, Dublin, for their forthcoming shows Sleeping Beauty Suite, Oklahoma and Princess Iolanthe with full orchestra at the Civic Theatre, Tallaght, Dublin PA News in pictures UK-Best-Harvey-Getty.jpg 5 May 2013: Harvey, a long-haired Chihuahua is dressed up as Marilyn Monroe. Enthusiasts gathered at the Picture House in Stratford to parade their dogs dressed up as famous Sci-Fi characters as part a London-wide event called Sci-Fi London Getty News in pictures UK-Best-Maldon-Mud-Race-AFP.jpg 5 May 2013: Participants recover after taking part in the annual Maldon Mud Race in Maldon, Essex, that sees people running on a short course across a muddy estuary in fancy dress to raise money for charities AFP\Getty News in pictures UK-Best-Birnie-Getty.jpg 5 May 2013: Members of the public look on as the thirty story tower block at Birnie Court is demolished in Glasgow,Scotland. This was the second of eight of the Red Road tower blocks to be demolished, the remaining six high rises, built in the 1960’s, are to be taken away by 2017 Getty News in pictures UK-Best-Tessa-Farmer-Getty.jpg Tessa Farmer’s Voyager that is being exhibited as part of the Odyssey exhibition in Bath Abbey, England. The exhibition brings together a collection of artworks by various artists and is a collaboration between bo.lee projects and Bath Abbey. (Getty) Getty News in pictures UK-Best-3D-Printer-PA.jpg Designer Susana Soares holds an insect cookie made from a flour of crushed insects and water and printed on a 3D printer, at the new Insects au Gratin installation, exploring the benefits of eating bugs, at the Wellcome Collection in central London. (PA) PA News in pictures UK-Best-Alton-Towers-PA.jpg Workmen from Alton Towers Resort in Staffordshire, celebrated the completion of the new worlds-first highest roller coaster, The Smiler, by creating a modern-day version of the famous Lunch atop a Skyscraper shot from 1932. (PA) PA News in pictures UK-BEST-PA1.jpg Flowers on the 24-meter high Magnolia sprengeri ‘Diva’ at the Forestry Commission’s National Arboretum at Westonbirt, Gloucestershire, which has flowered, a month later than last year due to the cold start to spring. (PA) PA News in pictures UK-Best-PA.jpg This model village is a replica of Bourton-on-the-Water in 1;9: scale and was opened in 1937 on Coronation day. According to English Heritage, it is the first time a model village has been given Grade II status. (PA) PA News in pictures UK-Best-EPA.jpg Members of the King’s Troop Horse Artillery fire a 41 Royal Gun Salute at Green Park in London, Britain. The gun salute was in honor of Queen Elizabeth’s 87th birthday. EPA News in pictures UK-BEST-AP.jpg British athlete Mo Farah poses for the media at a photo call by Tower Bridge in London. Farah ran as a pacemaker for the first 13 miles of the race on Sunday. AP News in pictures UK-BEST-EPA1.jpg Crossrail workers are keeping up the pace with good progress being made on building 26 miles (42km) of tunnels beneath the capital. The new Crossrail route includes a 26 mile (42km) section of tunnels beneath London. Five huge tunnelling machines are now in operation in west, east and southeast London with over 5 miles (9km) of tunnels now built. EPA News in pictures 06032012.jpg Police detain a participant during an opposition protest in Moscow on March 5, 2012. Russian police detained at least 100 people at protests calling on Vladimir Putin to resign after a presidential election they say was unfairly skewed in his favour. Reuters News in pictures Facebookipo.jpg An employee writes a note on the message board at the new headquarters of Facebook in Menlo Park, California. Facebook unveiled plans for the biggest ever Internet IPO that could raise as much as $10 billion, but made it clear CEO Mark Zuckerberg will exercise almost complete control over the company, leaving investors with little say. Reuters News in pictures bucharestfreeze.jpg A stray dog runs on a snow-covered field, while a crow flies above, near Bucharest. Record-low temperatures in parts of Eastern Europe pushed the death toll from Arctic conditions to at least 89 people on Wednesday, and have forced Russian gas provider Gazprom to warn over supplies to Europe. Europe had enjoyed a relatively mild winter up until last weekend, but a Siberian system swinging in from the east brought that to an abrupt halt. Fourteen people in Romania and eight people in neighbouring Bulgaria have now died in the cold snap. Reuters News in pictures Mashco-Pirotribe.jpg Members of the Mashco-Piro tribe observe an expedition of the Spanish Geographical Society from across the Alto Madre de Dios river in the Amazon basin of southeastern Peru, as photographed through a telescope by Spanish explorer Diego Cortijo on November 16, 2011, and distributed by Survival International on January 31, 2012. Survival International has the Mashco-Piro tribe listed as one of around 100 uncontacted indigenous tribes in the world. REUTERS/Diego Cortijo-Spanish Geographic Society via Survival International News in pictures Peswarbomb.jpg A young man stands weeping near a wall damaged by shrapnel from a bomb attack in Peshawar. Residents standing nearby said the young man had lost his father in the bombing. Three people were killed and eight others wounded in a suspected suicide bombing at a house in the northwestern city of Peshawar, police officials said. The house belonged to the leader of a pro-government tribal militia fighting against militants in the nearby Khyber tribal region. Reuters News in pictures 29JanNYchines.jpg Revellers rest in a park after attending a Chinese New Year parade at Chinatown in New York January 29, 2012. The Lunar New Year began on January 23 and marked the start of the Year of the Dragon, according to the Chinese zodiac. Reuters News in pictures 28Jancats.jpg A woman holds her Persian cat during an international cat exhibition held in Fleurus, southern Belgium. Reuters News in pictures 27JanTahrir.jpg Demonstrators pray in Tahrir square in Cairo during a protest demanding the army hand over power to the civilians. Reuters News in pictures 26JanRussia.jpg A member of the Cryophil amateur winter bathing club leaves the Yenisei River with an air temperature some minus 26 degrees Celcius in Russia’s Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk. Reuters News in pictures 25Janscotland.jpg James Wallace wears a kilt as he stands outside the entrance to Edinburgh castle. Scotland’s nationalist leader Alex Salmond marked Burns Night on Wednesday, when Scots toast their national poet, by unveiling his plans for an independence referendum in defiance of British government proposals. Reuters News in pictures 24Janmoneyart.jpg Artist Frank Buckley sits on the toilet of the house he has built out of 1.4 billion decommissioned euro notes from the Central Bank’s mint. Bricks of money make up the walls and shredded bills carpet the ground on the first floor of the empty office building for let on Coke Lane in Smithfield where Buckley has set up camp. He has been building for 12 hours every day, and living on-site since December. Reuters News in pictures diverscosta.jpg Two scuba divers from the Italian Navy inspect inside the Costa Concordia cruise ship. Divers on Monday found two more bodies on deck number four of the Costa Concordia, the capsized cruise liner resting half-submerged near the port of Italy’s Giglio island, said Franco Gabrielli, head of the civil protection agency. Reuters News in pictures 22JanSingaporeNewYear.jpg People rush to place joss sticks at the Guan Yin temple in Singapore. Worshippers gather annually at the temple on the eve of the Lunar New Year with hopes to be the first person to offer joss sticks when the clock strikes midnight, believed to bring prosperity and luck. The Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, begins on January 23 and marks the start of the Year of the Dragon, according to the Chinese zodiac. Reuters News in pictures 21Janbaby.jpg Melinda Star Guido, one of the smallest surviving babies born according to the Global Birth Registry, is pictured as she is discharged from the LAC+USC Medical Center in Los Angeles. Guido was born on August 30, 2011 at 24 weeks and weighed 9.5 ounces at birth. Reuters News in pictures 20Janfire.jpg Verdi Fire Chief Jon Sieben and other firefighters mop up hot spots just south of Reno Nevada. A wind-driven fire that raged through parched brush near Reno, Nevada, engulfing at least 20 homes and forcing residents and livestock to flee by the thousands, was 50 percent contained on Friday morning, officials said. Reuters News in pictures 19JanGormley.jpg Sculptures by British artist Antony Gormley stand silhouetted against the sky in Woolwich, south east London. Reuters News in pictures 18janethiopianisraliprotest.jpg Israeli youths with their faces painted hold signs during a demonstration in protest of the discrimination against Israelis of Ethiopian descent, in Jerusalem. Reuters News in pictures 17Jan.jpg Employees of Lejaby lingerie company demonstrate to save jobs on the stairway in the Cour des Voraces in Lyon. Reuters News in pictures 16Jan.jpg An oil removal ship is seen next to the Costa Concordia cruise ship as it ran aground off the west coast of Italy at Giglio island. Reuters News in pictures 15Jan.jpg Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi smiles after receiving France’s highest award The Legion of Honor from France’s Foreign Minister Alain Juppe at the French embassy in Yangon. The award is seen around her neck. Reuters News in pictures 14Jancruise.jpg A cruise ship that ran aground is seen off the west coast of Italy at Giglio island. At least five people were killed and rescuers were looking for other victims on Saturday after Costa Concordia, a large Italian cruise ship, carrying more than 4,000 people ran aground overnight, took on water and tipped over. Reuters News in pictures 13JanYouth-olympic.jpg Leonhard Stock carries the Olympic flame as he skis down the ski jump during the opening ceremony of the first winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck. Reuters News in pictures 12Jan.jpg Stern section of the stricken container ship Rena is almost totally submerged, about 14 nautical miles (22 km) from Tauranga, on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Reuters News in pictures 11Jan.jpg A girl sits in the Algerian town of Laghouat January 11, 2012, where she has been living in for a week since her home was bulldozed as part of a government re-housing scheme. Most of her neighbours were re-housed in new apartments, but several families were not on the list for re-housing. Reuters News in pictures 10JanNASA.jpg Cygnus X, one of the most active regions of star birth in the Milky Way galaxy, is pictured in this NASA handout image. The composite infrared image taken by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope shows the cloud of dust and gas 4,500 light years away from earth in the constellation Cygnus. Most stars are thought to form in huge star-forming regions like Cygnus X. Reuters / NASA News in pictures 9janPort-au-Prince.jpg A girl walks hand-in-hand with a woman on their way to church in the Fort National neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, January 9, 2011. Haiti will this week mark the first anniversary of the earthquake that killed around 250,000 people and wrecked much of the capital Port-au-Prince on Jan 12, 2010. Reuters News in pictures 8Jan.jpg Students hold earthen pitchers filled with water as they take a holy bath ahead of the Magh Mela festival during a ceremony in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad. The ceremony was organised to resemble the annual month-long religious festival held during the Hindu month of Magh, when thousands of Hindu devotees take a holy dip in the waters of the Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati, in Allahabad. Reuters News in pictures 7Janhongkong.jpg Eric Wong, managing director of a capsule bed manufacturer, poses in a modified capsule bed inside a showroom in Hong Kong. The beds, which are modified for the Hong Kong market, have adjustable ceilings, a large air conditioner and a TV. They are aimed at university students and budget mainland Chinese travellers visiting the territory and will cost $450 a month or $30 a night, according to the manufacturer. Reuters News in pictures 6Jan.jpg Yogini Bidve, the mother of murdered Indian student Anuj Bidve reacts as she visits the spot where he was killed in Salford, northern England. Bidve, who was studying at Lancaster University, was shot in the head at close range on December 26, 2011. Reuters News in pictures 5JanChinasnowfest.jpg Visitors view buildings made from blocks of ice for the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the Heilongjiang province of northeastern China, which opened today. The exhibition, thought to be the size of 70 football pitches, was made of 180,000 cubic metres of ice and features horse-drawn rides for children. AP News in pictures 3JanRomneyCucus.jpg Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa on the day of the Iowa caucus. Reuters News in pictures Pg-30-norway-epa.jpg Several tons of dead herring washed up on a beach in Nordreisa, northern Norway, at the weekend, puzzling locals and marine scientists. EPA News in pictures 1Jan.jpg Marco Fois of Italy dives into the Tiber River from the Cavour bridge, as part of traditional New Year celebrations in Rome January 1, 2012. Five men jumped into the muddy waters of the Tiber, continuing an annual tradition which dates back to 1946. Reuters News in pictures 31Dec.jpg The number 2012 is written with sparklers during a long exposure in front of St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom) during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Vienna. Reuters News in pictures 30DecPhilippines.jpg Homeless Typhoon Washi survivors pray during a holy mass at a school building turned into an evacuation centre in the southern Philippines city of Cagayan de Oro on Mindanao island. The death toll has risen to 1,249 with about 1,100 missing, disaster officials said this week. Reuters News in pictures 29DecTurkiyejpg.jpg Locals gather around bodies of people who were killed in air strikes in Ortasu village near the southeastern Turkish town of Sirnak. REUTERS/Emin Bal/IHA News in pictures 28Decicechurch.jpg A Catholic priest walks inside a church made of snow in the Bavarian village of Mitterfirmiansreut, near the German-Czech border. The snow church is likely to become a tourist attraction till the beginning of spring. Reuters News in pictures 27DecKorea.jpg North Korea’s new leader Kim Jong-un cries as his father, North Korea’s late leader Kim Jong-il, lies in state in this still image taken from video Reuters News in pictures 26DecIndia.jpg Girls plant paper flowers with messages written by the Indonesian and Japanese society during a ceremony to commemorate the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in Lhoknga, Aceh province Reuters News in pictures 25dECbERLIN.jpg Members of Berlin’s ice swimming club “Berliner Seehunde” (Berlin Seals) take a dip in the Orankesee lake in Berlin as part of their traditional Christmas ice swimming session Reuters News in pictures 24DecRussia.jpg Balloons hold aloft a placard shaped like the bear logo of the United Russia political party, during a protest against recent parliamentary election results in the southern Russian city of Stavropol December 24, 2011. The word on the bear logo reads, “Farewell!” Reuters News in pictures 23DecShanghai.jpg Employees carry babies as they expose the babies in the sun to prevent jaundice at the CareBay maternity care centre in Shanghai. CareBay provides services for “Zuo Yue Zi,” or confinement period in Mandarin, a Chinese practice for mothers who have just given birth to stay indoors, undergo a restrictive diet and set of activities for a month. Reuters News in pictures WillKate21Dec.jpg Britain’s Prince William dances with Vanessa Boateng as his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge looks on during a reception at Centrepoint’s Camberwell Foyer in London Reuters News in pictures 22DecNorthKorea.jpg North Korean traffic control women react as they make a condolence call for deceased leader Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang Reuters / Kyodo News in pictures 21DecPrague.jpg People gathered to mourn as the coffin of late former Czech President Vaclav Havel is transported on a gun carriage to Prague Castle for the funeral ceremony in Prague December 21, 2011. Havel, the playwright-turned-president whose “Velvet Revolution” toppled Communist rule, died on Sunday at his country home in Hradecek, northeast of Prague, after a long respiratory illness. Reuters News in pictures 20dECNKorea.jpg The body of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il lies in state at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang in this picture released by the North’s official KCNA news agency Reuters News in pictures mon korea.jpg A tearful announcer dressed in black announces the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il on North Korean State Television in this still image from video. North Korean leader Kim Jong-il died on a train trip, state television reported on Monday, sparking immediate concern over who is in control of the reclusive state and its nuclear programme. The announcer dressed in black said the 69-year old had died on Saturday of physical and mental over-work on his way to give “field guidance”. News in pictures prague sun.jpg People light candles and hold the national flag in tribute to late former Czech President Vaclav Havel at Wenceslas Square in Prague. Havel, a dissident playwright who was jailed by Communists and then went on to lead the bloodless “Velvet Revolution” and become Czech president, died at 75 on Sunday. News in pictures sat tunisia.jpg People gather during a ceremony marking the first anniversary of the Tunisian Revolution in Sidi Bouzid. Tens of thousands of people packed a provincial town square to celebrate the first anniversary on Saturday of Tunisia’s democratic revolution in the place where it began, unleashing a tide of popular revolt that has transformed the Arab world. News in pictures fri egypt.jpg A protester flashes a victory sign with his bloodied hand as other protesters throw stones at army soldiers at the cabinet near Tahrir Square in Cairo. Stone-throwing demonstrators clashed with troops wielding truncheons and electric prods in central Cairo on Friday, witnesses said, in the worst violence since the start of Egypt’s first free election in six decades. News in pictures thurs libya.jpg Girls hold up the flags of Qatar (R), Tunisia (2nd R), Egypt and Libya (L) during Libya’s first festival of the Amazigh songs in Benghazi. News in pictures obama iraq weds.jpg First lady Michelle Obama and U.S. President Barack Obama applaud troops at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. The visit is seen as marking the end of the Iraq war with a tribute to the troops who fought and died in a conflict Obama opposed from the start. News in pictures Dec13Karachi.jpg Police in the Pakistani city of Karachi have rescued 54 students from the basement of an Islamic seminary, or madrassa, where they said they were kept in chains by clerics, beaten and barely fed. Police raided the Zakariya madrassa late on Monday on the outskirts of Karachi, Pakistan’s commercial hub. They were now investigating whether it had any links to violent militant groups, which often recruit from hardline religious schools. Reuters News in pictures 12DecpandaEdinburgh.jpg Yang Guang, a male giant panda, eats bamboo as he sits in his new enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo during a press view in Edinburgh. A pair of giant pandas have been loaned to the zoo by China, moving British officials to say that the loan strengthened ties between the two countries. Reuters News in pictures Dec11Jerusalem.jpg Palestinian boys throw oranges towards Israeli police during clashes in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Shuafat. The clashes broke out during a protest against the construction of a new Israeli checkpoint nearby. Reuters News in pictures Dec10Scottsdale.jpg Todd Engle (centre) and Mary Rose Engle (right) hold weapons as they pose for a photograph with a man dressed as Santa Claus at the Scottsdale Gun Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. Reuters News in pictures Dec9.jpg LA Nathan Attis of Plymouth is embraced after disembarking from the Royal Navy helicopter carrier HMS Ocean at Devonport naval base in Plymouth, southwest England. The ship returned in time for Christmas after a seven and a half month deployment. Reuters News in pictures 8NovBangkok.jpg Female prisoners say goodbye to policewomen as they are released from Bang Kwang Central Prison in Bangkok. Over 2,700 prisoners were released from the prison today after being given royal pardons on the occasion of the 84th birthday of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej. According to local media, a total of 26,000 inmates will be released within three months under the annual royal pardon decree. Reuters News in pictures 7Deccolumbia.jpg A woman watches television in her flooded house in Cali. At least 96 people have died as a result of heavy rain, authorities said. Colombia’s weather office expects La Nina-related downpours to continue at least until the end of the first quarter of next year. Reuters News in pictures 6NovMumbai.jpg Shi’ite Muslims bleed after flagellating themselves during an Ashura procession in Mumbai. Ashura, which falls on the 10th day of the Islamic month of Muharram, commemorates the death of Imam Hussein, grandson of Prophet Mohammad, who was killed in the 7th century battle of Kerbala. Reuters News in pictures Nov5Uganda.jpg Ugandans Kenneth Sebagal (R) and Malou Geofrey from Third Country Nationals, that provide base security for Camp Kalsu, walk through the base near Hillla, as they leave the base after serving at the camp en route for home to Uganda. News in pictures 4DecMoscow.jpg Anarchists burn flares, shout and hold a banner during a protest after voting closed in Russia’s parliamentary election in central Moscow. Vladimir Putin’s ruling party suffered a big drop in support in a parliamentary election on Sunday, exit polls showed, as voters signalled their growing unease with his domination of Russian politics before a planned return to the presidency next year. Banner reads “We were cheated”. Reuters News in pictures Dec3Sarajevo.jpg A nun casts her vote at a polling booth in Sarajevo. Croatian nationals living in Bosnia will go to the polls on December 3 and 4. Reuters News in pictures Dec2China.jpg Recruits of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) take part in a training session at a military base in Jinan, Shandong Province, December 2, 2011. Reuters News in pictures 1DecCape-Town.jpg Fanelwa Glwasshu, 39, poses for a portrait while wearing a t-shirt indicating that she is HIV-positive, in Cape Town’s Khayelitsha township, February 22, 2010. Some 5.5 million people live with HIV/AIDS in South Africa — more than in any other country — while 33 million people live with the disease worldwide. Brightly coloured T-shirts with the HIV-positive logo are distributed by the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and are intended to reduce the stigma attached to the disease. Reuters News in pictures 30NovKathmandu.JPG People gather around lit candles to mark the upcoming World AIDS Day in Kathmandu November 30, 2011. World AIDS Day, which falls on December 1, 2011, aims to raise awareness to tackle the prejudice towards HIV-infected people and help stop its spread. Reuters News in pictures 29NovIndonesia.jpg A worker loads palm fruits into a truck at a palm plantation in the Serdang Bedagai district of Indonesia’s North Sumatra province. Major palm oil buyers and suppliers will assess the impact of erratic weather, a looming global recession and resilient demand on prices at an annual Indonesian industry meeting this week. News in pictures 28NovLosAngeles.jpg A man leans against the wall of City Hall at the Occupy LA encampment after the 12.01am eviction deadline in Los Angeles on November 28, 2011. The nearly two-month-old encampment is among the oldest and largest on the West Coast aligned with the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations protesting economic inequality in the country and the excesses of the U.S. financial system. Reuters News in pictures 27NovIndonesia.jpg Rescue teams search for victims at the site of the collapsed Mahakam II Bridge, also known as Kutai Kartanegara Bridge, in Tenggarong, East Kalimantan November 27, 2011. At least four people died and more than a dozen others were reported injured and 24 missing when the 705-metre-long (2,313-feet) suspension bridge connecting Tenggarong and Tenggarong Seberang districts in Kutai Kartanegara, East Kalimantan collapsed on Saturday, according to local media. The bridge was the longest bridge in Kalimantan. Reuters News in pictures 26NovKathmandu.jpg Nepalese monks with lit candles attend the “Together for World Peace” event organized by the International Dhammadayada Association, Nepal (IDNA) in Kathmandu. Reuters News in pictures 25NovJericho.jpg Palestinian children stand to form Pablo Picasso’s Dove of Peace as part of a project by British aerial artist John Quigley and the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA), at the foot of the Mount of Temptation in the West Bank city of Jericho. It took some 1000 children from United Nations schools to create the project produced as part of the “Peace on Earth” project, which will be broadcast globally from Bethlehem’s Manger Square on Christmas day, a U.N. press release said. Reuters News in pictures 24NovkermitNY.jpg The Kermit the Frog balloon floats down Central Park West during the 85th Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade in New York. Reuters News in pictures 23Nov-YemenSanaa.jpg Anti-government protesters react as they celebrate the signing by Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh of a deal to step down in Sanaa November 23, 2011. Saleh signed a deal on Wednesday under which he stepped down from 33 years in power and 10 months of protests against his rule that have brought the country to the edge of civil war. Reuters News in pictures 22NovRussia.jpg A Russian police officer moves to detain an activist from the opposition group “Another Russia” during a protest against forthcoming elections in central Moscow November 22, 2011. Russia will vote in parliamentary elections on December 4. Reuters News in pictures 21novCairo.jpg A protester has his eyes washed with milk to protect against tear gas, during clashes with police in Cairo. Reuters News in pictures 20novtahirsq.jpg A wounded protester is rushed to a field hospital near Tahrir Square during clashes with Egyptian riot police in Cairo November 20, 2011. Police backed by the army used batons and teargas on Sunday to charge protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square demanding Eygpt’s ruling generals swiftly hand power to civilians, in some of the worst violence since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak. Reuters News in pictures 19Novoccupyamsterdam.jpg Eveline Constance Heijkamp, a 22-year-old Occupy Amsterdam demonstrator, prepares for her wedding to Gijs Peskens (not pictured) in a tent on the Beursplein in Amsterdam November 19, 2011. Occupy Amsterdam demonstrators have set up tents on the Beursplein since October 15, 2011. Reuters News in pictures 18NovTibi,nrAlicante.jpg Soldiers of a special forces unit walk after a military exercise in Tibi, near Alicante. Reuters News in pictures 17NovBenin.JPG A girl washes the lid of a cooking pot amid the ruins of a market destroyed by city officials in Benin’s main city of Cotonou November 17, 2011. Vendors and local residents said police used bulldozers and razed the local market in an effort to tidy the city ahead of a three-day visit by Pope Benedict XVI. Reuters News in pictures 16novBenetton.jpg A man strolls in front of the Benetton store in downtown Rome November 16, 2011. Benetton withdrew an advertisement using an image of Pope Benedict kissing an imam on the mouth after the Vatican protested on Wednesday at the Italian clothing firm’s latest shock campaign. REUTERS News in pictures 15novpropaganda.jpg An Iranian student holds up an anti-U.S. poster as he attends a demonstration to show his support for Iran’s nuclear program, before a ceremony to form a human chain around the Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF), in Isfahan Reuters News in pictures 14novoccupyOakland.jpg An Occupy Oakland camper reads a book by candle light at the Occupy Oakland campsite in Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, California November 14, 2011. Anti-Wall Street protesters in Oakland rejected a call by the California city’s police union on Friday for them to leave their encampment, creating the potential for a showdown. News in pictures Japan13Nov.jpg Japan’s PM Noda arrives for a news conference after the conclusion of the APEC Summit in Honolulu, Hawaii Reuters News in pictures 12NovFukishima.jpg Officials from TEPCO and Japanese journalists look at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant from a bus in Fukushima Reuters News in pictures poppyart11nov.jpg Artist Ted Harrison poses for photographs with his art installation at St Paul’s Cathedral, in London Reuters News in pictures poppies.jpg Crosses commemorating the British military casualties in Afghanistan are seen in the Field of Remembrance outside Westminster Abbey in central London Reuters News in pictures floods.jpg A man and his dog make their way through a flooded area in Ayutthaya in Thailand. Thailand’s worst floods in half a century have killed more than 500 people, damaged millions of tonnes of rice, forced a series of industrial estates to close and threaten to inundate the capital, Bangkok. REUTERS News in pictures 8Novemeberelections-(1).jpg A Liberian election official waits for voters at an empty polling station during presidential elections, in the capital Monrovia. Reuters News in pictures Thailand.jpg Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra speaks to officials on a truck during her visit to a flooded area in Bangkok REUTERS News in pictures RTR2TOZZ.jpg British singer Jessie J performs at the MTV Europe Music Awards show in Belfast November 6, 2011. REUTERS News in pictures RTR2TMQE.jpg Muslim pilgrims pray on Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat during the annual haj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca. REUTERS News in pictures RTR2TMFU.jpg An Occupy Wall Street campaign demonstrator sits covered in a blanket in Zuccotti Park, near Wall Street in New York. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton News in pictures RTR2TKWH-1.jpg People gather around a dead whale after it beached on the Maule beach at the gulf of Arauco, some 550 km southwest of Santiago, near Concepcion city on November 4, 2011. The 16-meter long whale was found dead at an area which is apparently used to raise their young. The cause of its death is still unknown, local media said. News in pictures 131244328.jpg A fireman holding flares sits on a traffic light during a demonstration against reforms to notably change the methods of firefighter recruitment on November 3, 2011 in Paris. Getty Images News in pictures tues – tibet Nepalese police arrest a Tibetan woman during a protest in Kathmandu. About 20,000 Tibetans live in Nepal with valid refugee papers, while many are believed to be residing illegally. With China’s influence over Nepal increasing, the Nepalese government’s stands strong against Tibetans exiles whose protests in support of their homeland has increased in recent years. Nepal ceased issuing refugee papers to Tibetans in 1989 and recognizes Tibet to be a part of China. News in pictures mon – china A modified model of the Long March CZ-2F rocket carrying the unmanned spacecraft Shenzhou 8 blasts off from the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China’s Gansu Province. China launched the unmanned Shenzhou 8 spacecraft early on Tuesday, paving the way for a docking exercise with another craft. The docking, if successful, will pave the way for China to operate a permanent space station around 2020, and make the nation the world’s third to do so. News in pictures sun – Koytashskoye A servicewoman representing the Koytashskoye infantry unit holds a child as she casts her ballot during the presidential election at a polling station in the village of Koytash outside the capital Bishkek. Kyrgyzstan began voting on Sunday to elect a new president capable of bridging divisions that threaten stability in the former Soviet republic, a vital step to completing bold reforms to create Central Asia’s first parliamentary democracy. News in pictures sat-bangkok Police officers wait to assist residents passing through flood waters in Bangkok’s Chinatown. Receding floodwaters north of Bangkok have reduced the threat to the Thai capital, the prime minister said on Saturday, but high tides in the Gulf of Thailand will still test the city’s flood defences. News in pictures fri-morocco A relative of one of the nine men accused of orchestrating the April 28 bombing of an outdoor cafe, gestures as he attends the final hearing in court in Sale.. A Moroccan judge sentenced Adel Othmani to death on Friday for plotting and carrying out the bomb attack on the cafe in Marrakesh that killed 17 people, including eight French nationals. The blasts were the deadliest in Morocco since coordinated suicide bombings carried out by Islamist militants in the commercial capital, Casablanca, in 2003. News in pictures thurs – eurozone France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy, seen in this video grab from TF1 French television in a prime time interview from the Elysee Palace in Paris, speaks to the nation about the eurozone economy the day after a summit in Brussels. News in pictures weds_-_columbia_661267s.jpg Colombian students mock riot police during a demonstration in Bogota October 26, 2011. Thousands of students marched in a nationwide protest against the government’s reform of public universities, student organizations said. Reuters News in pictures tues_-_turkey_660971s.jpg Rescue workers carry a baby from a collapsed building in Ercis, near the eastern Turkish city of Van. A 14-day-old baby was rescued alive from the rubble of a collapsed building on Tuesday, 46 hours after an earthquake struck southeast Turkey, a Reuters Television journalist said. Reuters News in pictures mon_-_kosovo_660722s.jpg A NATO Kosovo Force (KFOR) soldier from Germany is reflected on a window of a bus, as a Kosovo Serb man sitting inside the bus looks out at erected barricades, in the village of Jagnjenica, near the town of Zubin Potok. Serbian President Boris Tadic urged an end to a tense stand-off between Serbs and NATO troops in Kosovo but was rebuffed by hardline Kosovo Serb leaders after five hours of talks late on Sunday. Reuters News in pictures sun_-_turkey_660431s.jpg Rescue workers rescue people trapped under debris after an earthquake in a village near the eastern Turkish city of Van. Turkey’s Kandilli Observatory estimates that some 500 to 1,000 people were killed in a powerful earthquake in southeast Turkey’s Van province on Sunday, broadcaster CNN Turk reported. Separately, Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay told reporters some 10 buildings had collapsed in Van city and around 25-30 buildings collapsed in the nearby district of Ercis. Reuters News in pictures sat-new_york_660428s.jpg Protesters and members of Occupy Wall Street wait for the start of the march, during an annual demonstration calling for a stop to police brutality in New York. Reuters News in pictures fri_-_yemen_660432s.jpg Anti-government protesters shout slogans during a rally to demand the ouster of Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa. Reuters News in pictures thurs_-_gaddafi_659574a.jpg Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, covered in blood, is pulled from a truck by NTC fighters in Sirte in this still image taken from video footage. Gaddafi was killed on Thursday as Libya’s new leaders declared they had overrun the last bastion of his long rule, sparking wild celebrations that eight months of war may finally be over. Reuters News in pictures weds_-_greece_659023a.jpg A youth throws a petrol bomb at police during riots with police in Athens’ Syntagma (Constitution) square. Greek unions begin a 48-hour general strike on Wednesday, the biggest protest in years, as parliament prepares to vote on sweeping new austerity measures designed to stave off a default that could trigger a crisis in the wider euro zone. Reuters News in pictures tues_-_palestine_658589a.jpg Newly released Palestinian prisoner Fotnah Abu Aleish (R) is hugged by her brother upon arrival to the Askar refugee camp near the West Bank city of Nablus. Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and hundreds of Palestinians crossed Israel’s borders in opposite directions on Tuesday as a thousand-for-one prisoner exchange brought joy to families but did little to ease decades of conflict. Reuters News in pictures mon-new_zealand_658305a.jpg The tanker Awanuia and a tug boat carry out operations to pump oil from the stricken container ship Rena, about 14 nautical miles (22 km) from Tauranga, on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, 13 days after it struck the Astrolabe Reef. Rough weather on Tuesday forced salvage teams to halt pumping oil from the stricken container ship in what has turned into the country’s worst environmental disaster in decades. Reuters News in pictures sun_-_libya_658107s.jpg Libyan government fighters shoot from the roof of a building at pro-Gaddafi forces in Sirte. Libyan government fighters battled on Sunday to subdue pockets of resistance by pro-Gaddafi fighters, whose refusal to abandon the ousted leader’s hometown of Sirte is delaying Libya’s move to democracy. Reuters News in pictures sat-st_pauls_658106s.jpg WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange leaves a protest outside St Paul’s Cathedral, next to the London Stock Exchange, in central London. Demonstrators worldwide shouted their rage on Saturday against bankers and politicians they accuse of ruining economies and condemning millions to hardship through greed and bad government. Reuters News in pictures fri_-_thailand_658100a.jpg Thai soldiers help residents crossing a strong stream of floodwaters in Pathum Thani province. Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra tried to reassure residents of Bangkok on Friday that the capital should largely escape the flooding that has covered a third of the country since July and caused damage of at least $3 billion. Reuters News in pictures thurs_-_seattle_657371s.jpg Benjamin Fodor, aka Seattle superhero ‘Phoenix Jones’, speaks to the media after making a court appearance in Seattle, Washington. Prosecutors have so far declined to charge Fodor, a onetime mixed-martial arts competitor who was arrested on Sunday after he pepper-sprayed a group of nightclub patrons he believed were involved in a street brawl downtown. Reuters News in pictures weds_-_berlin_657034a.jpg The Berlin cathedral is seen as it is illuminated during the Festival of Lights in Berlin. Several landmarks of the German capital, including boulevards, squares, towers, historical and modern buildings, will be illuminated during the festival. Reuters News in pictures tues_-_ukraine_656642s.jpg Policemen detain an activist from women’s rights organisation Femen who took part in a rally near the Pecherskiy district court in Kiev. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich hinted at possible imminent changes to the law which may benefit former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, convicted on Tuesday of abuse-of-office and sentenced to seven years in jail. Activists gathered to protest against the conflict between Yanukovich and Tymoshenko, which is evident in participants’ opinion, and to prevent the bloodshed between the two sides, according to local media. Reuters News in pictures mon_-_thailand_656361s.jpg People make their way through a flooded area in Ayutthaya province. Thai rescue workers scrambled on Monday to prevent a humanitarian disaster as the worst flooding in half a century swamped large sections of the country, shut factories and stranded thousands of people. Reuters News in pictures sun-egypt_656104s.jpg Egyptian Christians clash with soldiers and riot police during a protest against an attack on a church in southern Egypt, in Cairo. Nineteen people were killed in Cairo on Sunday when Christians, some carrying crosses and pictures of Jesus, clashed with military police, medical and security sources said, in the latest sectarian flare-up in a country in political turmoil. Reuters News in pictures sat_-_yemen_656103s.jpg Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh delivers his speech on state television in this still image taken from video. Saleh said on Saturday he would leave power in the coming days, the closest the veteran leader has come to announcing he plans to step down after nine months of mass protests against his 33 year rule. Reuters News in pictures fri_-_china_656102a.jpg The newly inaugurated skyscraper tower of Huaxi village is seen in Huaxi village, Jiangsu province. Huaxi, also known as China’s richest village, celebrates its 50th anniversary with the inauguration of a massive 328-meters (1,076 feet) high skyscraper that screams for attention from its lowly skyline. A solid gold bull weighing a tonne also greets visitors at a viewing area on the 60th-floor of the tower, a testament to the wealth of the village. In Huaxi, those from the original 2,000 residents have at least a house, a car, and $250,000 in the bank and enjoy universal health care and free education. Officials from elsewhere in China tour Huaxi to find out how this once sleepy village, with just 576 residents in the 1950s, is now so rich and why non-local businessmen would donate million-dollar factories to buy the privilege of a local residence permit. Reuters News in pictures thurs_-_thailand_655289s.jpg Prisoners wade through a flooded jail as they evacuate to another jail at Ayutthaya prison in Ayutthaya province, nearly 80 km (50 miles) north of Bangkok. At least 224 people have died in flooding in Thailand since mid-July and water has inundated the 400-year-old Chai Wattanaram temple in the ancient city of Ayutthaya, a World Heritage Site, officials said on Tuesday. Reuters News in pictures weds_-_steve_jobs_654801s.jpg A tribute message to the late Steve Jobs written in lipstick is seen on the window of the Apple Store in Santa Monica, California. Apple Inc co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs, counted among the greatest American CEOs of his generation, died on Wednesday at the age of 56, after a years-long and highly public battle with cancer and other health issues. Reuters
Restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars will be closed in level four, although hotels can still serve customers staying on their premises for essential reasons until 10pm.
Shops, visitor attractions, libraries, hairdressers, barbers and beauticians can all stay open with social distancing measures in place up to level three, but other services may have to close depending on what level the area has been designated. From level four, only essential shops will be allowed to open.
Nightclubs must remain shut across the board; stadiums will close to spectators in levels two and three; and soft play, funfairs, snooker and pool halls, indoor bowling alleys, casinos and bingo halls will remain closed in level three.
Outdoor live events are also banned in level three areas, as are contact sports and training, plus indoor group exercise classes, for those aged 18 and over.
What rules are in place?
Other than the above, face coverings are now mandatory in shops and on buses, trains, trams, planes and taxis, plus in indoor group settings, including staff canteens and workplace corridors.