The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has announced that 11 council areas will go into her highest tier of restrictions from 6pm on Friday 20th of November for 3 weeks, the equivalent of almost full lockdown apart from schools and education staying open.

The council areas that will move to Tier 4 for a limited 3-week period from Friday 20th Nov are:

  1. City of Glasgow
  2. Renfrewshire
  3. East Renfrewshire
  4. East Dunbartonshire
  5. West Dunbartonshire
  6. North Lanarkshire
  7. South Lanarkshire
  8. East Ayrshire
  9. South Ayrshire
  10. Stirling
  11. West Lothian

Level 4 is intended to be short and sharp. It is specifically intended to have an impact in advance of Christmas and the most challenging winter period. “We will assess nearer the time the level that will apply in each area when the Level 4 restrictions end on December 11.”

In July this year, The National Clinical Director Prof. Jason Leitch announced that Healthcare Professionals in Scotland are those who are statutory regulated. This means that all Complementary and Alternative Medicine therapists including Massage and Sports/Remedial Massage Therapists, Sports therapists are those included in the ‘close contact’ services.

In tier 4, these services must close:

“Complementary and alternative medicine services requiring physical contact or close physical proximity between persons, but not osteopathy and chiropractic services” must close.

Health is a devolved responsibility of the Scottish Government. For this reason, guidance which may be applicable in England will not be applicable in Scotland.

The SMTO is now advising that their members in tier 4 areas must cease trading at 6pm Friday 20th November, for 3 weeks.

Further information about Tier 4 generally can be found on the following Scot.Gov page


Travel restrictions

Travel into and out of parts of Scotland that are in Level 3 and Level 4 areas will be against the law from Friday. The current guidance on non-essential travel has only been advisory but will become law from Friday.

  • People in level 3 or level 4 areas will not be allowed to travel outside those areas unless it is essential.
  • People from other parts of Scotland will not be able to travel into level 3 or 4 areas unless it is essential.
  • People in Scotland will not be allowed to travel to other parts of the UK unless it is essential.

As close contact services must close in tier 4, therapists living in tiers 0-3 cannot travel to work in tier 4.

However, Therapists can travel from their home in tier 4 to work in a lower tier 3 area but please be mindful of the national effort to control the virus and carefully consider if your travel is essential and within the law.


We will research what additional funding is available for therapists and get this out to therapists in the next couple of days.

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