Scottish housing market to remain open during lockdown

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As the pandemic grows throughout the UK, Scotland has moved to reintroduce tighter controls

The housing market is to remain open as Scotland enters its tightest lockdown since it first implemented restrictions last spring.

Wales and Northern Ireland have also introduced or extended existing restrictions in movement while prime minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce further steps for England.

As the scale of the latest wave of the pandemic grows throughout the UK, Scotland has moved to reintroduce tighter controls including closing all schools until the end of January.

However, unlike last March, the housing industry will be allowed to continue operating in the current situation.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon told the Scottish parliament that from midnight people were being told to stay at home and work from home if at all possible, with only essential purposes allowed.

These include “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 regulations also warn that 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, and people should not stay longer than for the length of time required to undertake the necessary work.

Trades people are permitted to go into a house to carry out or deliver essential work or services, including, to support a home move, for example furniture removal.

And all holiday accommodation is closed to tourism, with hotels, B&Bs and self-catering allowed to remain open for essential customers only.

I can confirm now, in summary, that we [have] decided to introduce from midnight tonight for the duration of January, a legal requirement to stay at home except for essential purposes, Sturgeon said. This is similar to the lockdown of March last year.

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