FAQs - Essential and Non-Essential Travel

FAQs in relation to essential and non-essential travel. 

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How will officers determine what is essential and non-essential travel? How will you enforce this?

The government guidance on social distancing is clear. You should only leave the house for one of four reasons:

  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
  • daily exercise, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household. any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  • travelling to and from work, but only where you cannot work from home.

The new legislation contains powers for Scottish officers that enables them to help ensure that the current restrictions in place across the country are being followed. Our officers will continue to engage with the public in a positive and constructive tone as we support our colleagues in the health service at this extraordinary time.

The powers being afforded to our officers will be used as a last resort and only where people are defying very clear and sensible advice which is designed to save lives and protect the NHS.

Can I drive somewhere for exercise or to walk my dog?

Government guidance states that you can go outside for daily exercise. However, the Scottish Government advises that you should stay local, use open spaces near to your home where possible and avoid unnecessary travel.

There will be an increased police presence on the streets and in parks across Scotland with highly visible police patrols. Our officers will be there to help and assist members of the public and will seek to engage with those who are not complying with the current guidance. Our officers will always act in a reasonable and proportionate manner and will encourage people to take the right steps for their own safety and that of their fellow citizens.

Can I drop my child off with their mother/father if we have shared custody?

Government guidance on social distancing states that where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes.

Will people be stopped by police when travelling to work?

The new legislation contains powers for Scottish officers that enables them to help ensure that the current restrictions in place across the country are being followed. Our officers will continue to engage with the public in a positive and constructive tone as we support our colleagues in the health service at this extraordinary time.

Officers understand that many people will still need to travel to and from work if they are unable to work from home. In the unlikely event that someone is stopped when travelling to work, officers will enquire and engage positively. The powers being afforded to our officers will be used as a last resort and only where people are defying very clear and sensible advice which is designed to protect them from harm.

Will the police be conducting road checkpoints?

We currently have no plans to set up roadblocks in support of the social distancing/stay at home instruction from government. If the public see any roadblocks/cars being stopped these will be for other unrelated operations, such as tackling road crime.