Edinburgh residents will be banned from visiting sites such as IKEA, Costco and Straiton retail park from Friday 20 November.
Despite being some of the biggest shopping points in the area, it was pointed out by an MSP on Thursday afternoon that neither are actually in the City of Edinburgh.
Although called IKEA Edinburgh, the popular furniture store is actually in Midlothian. East Lothian and Midlothian have both seen a marked decline in infection rates, on that basis Nicola Sturgeon confirmed they would move down from level three to level two from Tuesday 24 November.
Under the new travel restrictions, from Friday those in a level three or four area are not allowed to leave their local authority, and will be breaking the law if they do.
This means that those in Edinburgh cannot travel to Midlothian, East Lothian, West Lothian or any other surrounding areas.
The issue was highlighted by Midlothian South MSP, Christine Grahaeme, who shared her concerns that people from Edinburgh would continue to visit sites in Midlothian, an area that is currently lower risk.
Asking a question to Nicola Sturgeon at today’s FMQs, she said:
“My constituency is now level two thanks to the efforts of folk there, but adjacent Edinburgh is level three.
“How will travel from Edinburgh to such places [IKEA] be monitored? Because purchasing a tray of winter pansies or wine glasses and cushions, while completely understandable, can hardly be considered essential and that un-essential travel will spread the virus.”
Responding to the question, the First Minister highlighted that the country is “seeking to avoid a national lockdown” and asked the public to comply so they can avoid a “one size fits all” set of restrictions.
Adding that she understood the new rules may be tough, Nicola Sturgeon added that people should only be traveling over into another level for “essential shopping if it is not possible in your local authority area”.
She also encouraged the public to shop online and use delivery services where possible.