STIRLING will see Level 4 lockdown restrictions introduced on Friday, the first minister confirmed today.

Changes to rules, which will see non-essential shops closed, will come into effect this Friday, November 20, at 6pm.

They are set to remain in place for three weeks until Friday, December 11.

Stirling is among 11 local authority areas where the highest level of protection measures will be introduced.

The measures will see the closure on non-essential shops, pubs, bars, restaurants and gyms.

No in-home socialising will be allowed, with limited exceptions.

Exceptions include another household providing care and support to a vulnerable person.

Where parents do not live in the same household, children are still allowed to move between their parents' homes.

Six people from two households will be allowed to meet outdoors and in public places while physically-distancing.

Indoor sports facilities are to close, but outdoor exercise and non-contact sports will be permitted.

Places of worship can remain open with two metre distancing and a maximum of 20 people allowed at the one time.

Weddings and civil partnerships can go ahead with up to 15 people in attendance, but no receptions are allowed.

Up to 20 people will be allowed at funerals and wakes.

Stirling News: Level 4 measures at a glance - source: Scottish GovernmentLevel 4 measures at a glance - source: Scottish Government

Speaking in Holyrood today, Tuesday November 17, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also announced that travel restrictions will be put into law to prevent people who live in a Level 3 or Level 4 local authority from travelling outside their area, except for an essential purpose.

She 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.

“Pressure on hospitals in these areas - and on those who work in them - is already severe and with the additional pressure that the coming weeks may bring, it could easily become intolerable.

“At these levels we would not have the flexibility we need to ease restrictions over Christmas - which, in common with the other UK nations, we so desperately want to do.

“The clear advice of our public health experts is that we must drive infection rates down further in these areas.

“They are not confident that Level 3 restrictions will do this to the extent necessary.”

Click here to examine Level 4 measures in full.