Last Updated: 21/05/2020 at 16:44
Coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed things for everyone in Scotland.
We've been asked to stay at home way more and to keep at least two metres apart from other people when we do go anywhere. You might have heard lots of people calling this 'social-distancing' or 'physical-distancing'.
We know it's tough to keep up with what you can or can't do. One thing to remember is that this won't last forever, and what we can do as members of the public to help is simple - stay in your house!
When the time comes to return to 'normal' will depend on all of us doing our part by following the official advice. If everyone does that then things will be able to return to 'normal', as long as it's safe to do so, sooner rather than later!
What does 'Stay at Home' really mean?
The Scottish Government advises that you should only leave your house:
- For basic things that you need like food shopping or to collect medicine from the chemist - and you should try to keep this to a minimum where possible;
- For exercise, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with the people you live with and this should be done close to your house;
- For animal welfare, like needing to take your dog for a walk - and again this should be as little as possible (if you have other people in your house, you can take turns!);
- For medical reasons, including to donate blood, attend appointments if going ahead in-person, or to provide care or help a vulnerable person;
- For travel to work, but only if you cannot work from home.
The First Minister has said from Monday 11th May rules on exercise will change and that exercising outdoors more than once a day is okay as long as you follow the above advice. However, if you decide to go out it should be for exercise and not for social activities such as sunbathing or having a picnic or barbecue.
If you do need to go out for any of these reasons it's important to keep a distance of two metres from other people who aren't in the same household as you - that's about 6ft 5 inches and about the height of Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Peter Crouch or Andy Murray!
The First Minister announced that from Thursday 28th May there may be some changes to the restrictions around what you can and can't do if progress continues. These new restrictions are not set in stone and will continue to be reviewed every three weeks, as required by law. But for now, the message remains the same; stay at home.
What should I avoid doing in lockdown?
It's not always easy to decide what is or isn't 'essential' but there are definitely a few things that are avoidable for a while that will really help the current situation.
Just popping to the shop regularly
If you're down to your last can of IRN-BRU, just popping to the shop to pick up more isn't exactly essential (it isn't!) and you should still try not to visit shops more than you need to.
Avoid falling short by preparing a list in advance when you do have to go out for the weekly shop, or if you're in the vulnerable category or live with someone who is, by booking a delivery online. You might have to be patient finding a slot, but preparing in advance will mean you'll only have to walk to the fridge to satisfy your IRN-BRU cravings!
Having a kick about
Getting together with your best pals for a game of fives is off the table for now unfortunately, but if you're missing the social aspect of keeping fit you could go out for a run with the people you live with, take your dog along with you or take part in a workout class online from home.
You can meet up with one other person outside - including in your garden - so long as you maintain a two metre distance apart.
Meeting up with pals
Hanging out with your friends is something a lot of us will be missing at the moment, but it's one of the most important things to avoid in the current situation.
You can meet up with one other person outside - including in your garden - so long as you maintain a two metre distance apart, but unfortunately you still can't go to someone's house to visit them just yet.
Luckily for us, there are loads of ways to stay connected and have fun. Our 'Things to do at Home During Coronavirus' article has a few ideas on how to pass the time or you could get stuck into our activity pack to help you clear your head.
There's lots of apps and websites that let us catch up with people over video chat, play games or stream movies together.
We have some info on how you can stay connected while staying safe online.
What things are OK to do in lockdown?
It's important to remember that there are still other reasons where you might need to leave your house in lockdown.
If you need to see a doctor
Look after yourself and don't put off going to the GP or A&E if you need to.
Our NHS is here to support you, so if you need assistance remember you can call your GP surgery for non-coronavirus related symptoms of other illnesses, or NHS 24 out of hours.
If you are providing care to someone vulnerable, there is specific social distancing advice.
Remember, if you or someone else is suffering from life threatening injuries or symptoms you should always call 999 and ask for an ambulance.
If you're a key worker on the frontlines of the NHS, a care worker, teacher, supermarket worker or part of any of the other of the professions sometimes listed as 'essential' during lockdown by the Scottish Government (first of all thank you!) - then it's okay to travel to work and use public services in the same way as listed above.
If you're unsure about whether you should still be travelling to work or worried about working, there's advice on the Citizens Advice Scotland website.
We have also put together an article on how your work may be affected by coronavirus.
Why should I bother following the government advice?
Unfortunately, despite early reports that might seem confusing now, anyone can catch the coronavirus (COVID-19) and become seriously unwell or worse - even if you're young.
But I feel fine anyway
You could get coronavirus and not even know it - but that doesn't mean that other people can't catch it from you and get seriously ill.
If you don't become unwell or have no symptoms at all, you still could pass it on to someone you love or someone who is more vulnerable and that's why it's super important to try and stick to the advice so the we can all help stop the spread of the infection.
What can I do to help?
Stay at home as much as possible!
The actions we take affect everyone right now, and even as lockdown restrictions begin to be eased, going outside when it's not really necessary might seem harmless at the time but it could be putting someone else's life at risk. It could be a neighbour, your granny or even a little brother or sister.
Everyone has the power to protect themselves, the people they love and play their part in helping get Scotland through this time quicker. That power is to try to stay at home as much as we can.
More information from Young Scot on Coronavirus (COVID-19)