(Image: Getty Images)

How will the new Covid rules affect grandparents visiting and looking after grandchildren?

What does the new 'Rule of Six' policy mean for Scottish grandparents and childcare.


New Covid restrictions come into force today, but what do they mean for grandparents and childcare?

Previously 15 people from five households could meet outdoors, while eight people from three households could meet indoors.

From today that limit is reduced to six people from two household both indoors and outside.

The 'Rule of Six' has also been introduced in England, where children are included in that number.

In Scotland, however, children under the age of 12 will not be included in the count, meaning where families are larger, one set of grandparents can still visit a a family at home safely.

For Scots who rely on grandparents for childcare the exemption of children from the six is a welcomed relief after months of struggling to work from home with a full house during lockdown. For key workers the need for childcare is even more vital.

However the new restrictions will put an temporary halt on larger family gatherings for special celebrations like birthdays and anniversaries where more than one household would usually attend.

Some grandparents have taken to internet forum to vent their frustrations at the new rules which have come in just as they hoped life was returning to normal.

One gran said the new rules were 'getting a bit ridiculous'.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wearing a face mask (Image: PA)

She said: "My grandaughter's family birthday will have to be rethought - it was going to be 10 people. Maybe we can have two sittings! Can we do that ? One group for lunch then they go home and another group for tea? Seems a bit ridiculous...."

Another said the restrictions would not stop them celebrating a family birthday.

She said: ""We’re going away on Friday, to a cottage in a small, isolated village. We are six, plus an 18-month-old. These new restrictions come in on our daughter’s 30th birthday. My daughter is pregnant, and really needs this break. She has ME, and struggled through the first lockdown, and I couldn’t help her.

"It’s NOT going to stop us. We’ve been careful from the start. If my daughter doesn’t get some reprieve, she could crash to the point she won’t recover for the birth. We’re fed up of it all like everyone else, and we just pray to be kept safe."

Another added: ""Well, we are going away in 10 days time, there will be eight adults and two children. Not sure how we’re going to manage this yet. We will have to have a long talk about this."  

Top news stories today

Both the Scottish and UK Governments have introduced fines for anyone caught breaching the new rules.

In Scotland anyone over the age of 18 found to be in breach of the new rules could be issued with a fine of £60 (reduced to £30 if paid within 28 days).

If a person has already received a fine for breaching coronavirus rules, the amount will increase to £120 and double on each further repeat offence up to a maximum of £960.