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As countries are slowly easing lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we reached out to Muslims all over the world to find out how life and travelling have changed where they live. We spoke to a Malaysian Muslim couple in Scotland. Hakimin and his wife have been living in Glasgow for the past 6 months. They share with us how life is like in Scotland with the COVID-19 pandemic as well as their favourite spots and halal restaurant!
Why did you move from Malaysia to Scotland?
I decided to move to Glasgow after I got married to accompany my wife who is working as a doctor here. I was previously a Mine Engineer in Penjom Gold Mine (the biggest Gold Mine in Malaysia). But now, I am a househusband and doing some business here including making YouTube content. Please Subscribe and Like! Hahaha. #supportmyyoutubechannel
COVID-19 situation in Glasgow right now
Currently, we're still in Phase 3 of lockdown. The average number of cases per day is about 10.
What are some of the social distancing and safety measures in place in Glasgow?
Physical distancing requirements in place.
Frequent handwashing and hygiene measures for all.
Cough etiquette is maintained.
Face coverings in enclosed public spaces, including public transport.
Outdoors – a household can meet up to 4 other households at a time – up to 15 people in total.
Indoors – a household can meet up to 2 other households at a time – up to 8 people in total. This includes overnight stays.
No restriction on travel in Scotland if acting in line with all other guidance which supports the Routemap (COVID-19 guidelines).
Schools, childcare and other educational settings
Schools: From 11 August: Children to be able to return to school full time (conditional upon ongoing scientific and health advice). The blended model of schooling remains a contingency plan.
Universities and colleges –phased return to on-campus learning as part of a blended model with remote teaching. Public health measures (including physical distancing) in place – 22 July.
Working or running a business
Non-essential offices and call centres can re-open following the implementation of relevant guidance (including physical distancing).
Working from home and working flexibly remain the default. – date to be confirmed – not before 31 July.
Shopping, eating and drinking out
Non-essential shops inside shopping centres can re-open (following guidance and with physical distancing) – 13 July.
Sport, culture and leisure activities
Organised outdoor contact sports, play and physical activity can resume for children and young people under 18 (subject to guidance) – 13 July.
Museums, galleries, monuments, libraries, various other visitor attractions, cinemas (including drive-ins and venues screening films) – with physical distancing and other measures (e.g. ticketing in advance) – 15 July.
All holiday accommodation permitted (following relevant guidance) – 15 July.
My wife and I went to St Andrews last week (about 1.5h from Glasgow). It was quite a different experience. Most of the shops were still closed and no dining services were provided. Most of the indoor tourist attractions such as museums and cathedrals were closed as well.
However, we still had so much fun because there were so many outdoor places to be explored such as the wonderful beaches and the amazing golf courses. Not to mention the lovely wee town of St Andrews.
Most importantly, our favourite ice cream shop, Jannettas Gelataria was open!!! The queue was almost an hour-long though???, but it was definitely worth every drop of ice cream. Make sure to have your ice cream indoor because the cromars are vicious ! They will steal the food from your hand. After all, it was an amazing trip. And the free parking was just like the icing on the cake ? Check out our adventure in my video here:
P.S. Never thought of visiting Scotland? These 8 reasons will change your mind!
What you should see in Glasgow
New Lanark World Heritage Site
New Lanark is a village on the River Clyde in Lanarkshire, Glasgow, Scotland. It was founded in 1786 by David Dale, who built cotton mills and housing for the mill workers in a brief partnership with the English inventor and entrepreneur Richard Arkwright to take advantage of the water power provided by the only waterfalls on the River Clyde. New Lanark became a successful business and an early example of a planned settlement and so an important milestone in the historical development of urban planning. In 2009, it was recognised by UNESCO as one of Scotland’s World Heritage Sites.
Attached to the village is the Clyde walkway which leads you to Scottish Wildlife Trust - Falls of Clyde Visitor Centre and Wildlife Reserve. The Falls of Clyde is a must-see here! Highly recommended for nature lovers.
Useful tips when visiting New Lanark
There is a large free car park on the outskirts of the village. Only disabled visitors may park in the village. The walk from the car park down to the mill village provides a worthwhile panoramic view. There is a bus service [Number 135] from Lanark station bus stance. The railway station has half-hourly services from Glasgow. New Lanark is just over one mile from the Lanark rail and bus stations. The walk is mainly downhill and well signposted. Also, don’t forget to bring your own tea/coffee and biscuits. There’s plenty of benches on the way up to the hill where you can have a rest in between the hike.
What's your favourite halal restaurant in Glasgow that you would recommend to Muslim travellers?
Hot World Buffet! All food in this restaurant is halal and yummy. It has plenty of choices from various countries such as USA, India, China and Italy.
The Chicken Pakora and Lamb Grill are superb and definitely a must-try. It's also pretty affordable for lunch, around GBP8 (RM44/SGD14)