Car retailers will be able to continue trading after Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon moved into Level 4 COVID-19 lockdown – implementing the nation’s most stringent mitigation measures.
All non-essential retail will close in 11 council areas North of the Border from 6pm on Friday (November 20), including: Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, Stirling and West Lothian.
But ‘outdoor car lots’ have joined automotive aftersales facilities in being listed as essential retail, ensuring that they can remain operational in accordance with social distancing and personal protective equipment (PPE) measures.
As under England's current 'Lockdown 2' measures, therefore, car retailers will be relying on a click & collect service to drive sales during the three-week implimentation of Level 4.
The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) confirmed: “Under level four, which is the highest alert level, non-essential retail will be required to close. The guidance currently states that click and collect and outdoor retail would be permitted under level four.”
Explaining the reasoning behind the Scottish Government’s move to Level 4 in 11 council areas, the First Minister said: “In the seven days up to Friday, Scotland as a whole had just over 140 new cases of COVID per 100,000 people.
“All of the areas moving to Level 4 were above that level - ranging from West Lothian, with a rate of 158 cases per 100,000, to Glasgow with 277.
“We simply do not have the assurance we need that hospital and ICU services will be able to cope as we go deeper into winter.”
She added: “That is why, albeit reluctantly, we have taken the decision to place these areas into Level 4 for three weeks.”
Just as UK Prime Minister put a December 2 end date on the current ‘Lockdown 2’ measures in place in England, the First Minister said that Scotland’s Level 4 restrictions were currently scheduled to end on December 11.
She added: “I know people are frustrated that other restrictions have remained in place longer than planned but Level 4 is intended to be short and sharp. And in this situation, it is specifically intended to have an impact in advance of Christmas and the most winter challenging period.”