Coronavirus situation in Scotland
Update 21 October 2020
Please note this following information applies to Scotland. The situation is different in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
After the initial lockdown and business closures from March to 15 July 2020, the Scottish Government has introduced various measures. This page covers the most recent information.
On 23 September and on 7 October 2020, new measures were put in place to limit social gatherings indoors and outdoors in Scotland (see below).
As and when local outbreaks occur, additional restrictions will be imposed in the affected areas. A new tier system for Scotland is due to be announced on 2nd November 2020 (details will be added here when available from the Scottish Government).
From 23 September only one household (or 'extended household') can stay in each room booked at a B&B establishment or hotel. Please note that B&Bs can have guests staying in more than one room at any given time, but social distancing must be maintained by anyone from separate households.
People from more than one household (or 'extended household') must not stay in a self-catering unit together while the current restrictions on indoor private gatherings are in place. This means no more than 6 people from any one household (children under 12 are not counted within this limit).
Social gatherings in Scotland
From 23 September 2020, there are restrictions on social gatherings throughout Scotland. This means no more than 6 adults from up to 2 households can meet socially in public places such as bars, cafes or restaurants, or outdoors in a park or garden. (Children under 12 are not counted within this limit). Coach trips, guided tours and boat trips are still permitted but please ensure social distancing from other households.
Click here for for full details of these regulations.
Face coverings in Scotland
It is mandatory to wear a face covering in shops, banks and other enclosed areas such as museums, indoor tourist attractions, cinemas and places of worship.
It is also mandatory to wear a face covering inside bars/restaurants when you are not seated (e.g. when entering/leaving the premises or going to the toilet).
Exemptions apply for children under 5 and for those for whom a covering is inappropriate due to health reasons.
You are also required to wear a face covering on public transport (see below).
Please note that it is mandatory to wear a face covering on all public transport (including public areas of bus/train stations and airports) and in taxis. Exemptions apply for children under 5 and for those for whom a covering is inappropriate due to health reasons (see full guidance).
Advance booking of trains and ferries is essential.
Pubs, cafes and restaurants
Face coverings are mandatory when you are not seated (e.g. when entering/leaving the premises or going to the toilet).
No more than 6 people from up to 2 different households should meet together at a time (excluding children under 12).
Currently, pubs, bars and restaurants must close at 10pm every day. From 6pm on 9th October to 2nd November, licensed venues can only serve food and non-alcoholic drinks indoors until 6pm each day, and can only serve alcohol outdoors (not indoors) up until 10pm.
Additional measures will be imposed in 5 areas of Central Scotland (Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley) where all pubs, bars and restaurants selling alcohol must remain closed for 16 days from 6pm on 9th October to 2nd November (although takeaway services can still operate).
Hospitality venues are legally required to collect customers' contact details (name and phone number of the lead person in each household group) in case contact tracing is necessary.
Click here for full details.
Arriving into the UK
See Scotland's List of 'travel corridor' countries which have exemptions from 14-day quarantine (self-isolating). If you are travelling to Scotland from countries not on this list, you are required to self-isolate in one location for 14 days.
For additional info, see the VisitScotland Travel to Scotland FAQ.
Museums, art galleries, castles and other attractions are re-opening, but many of them require pre-booking so that visitor numbers can be well managed. Please check before travelling. You will be asked to wear a face covering when inside.
Unfortunately many large events including Highland Games for 2020 have been cancelled. Please check with individual event operators before travelling to attend events.
The national tourist board VisitScotland has a handy list which summaries the current situation and regulations in Scotland.
Look for the 'Good to Go' logo for businesses which are Covid Prepared. This is the official UK mark to signal that a tourism and hospitality business has worked hard to follow Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines and has a process in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.
For medical advice if you are experiencing any symptoms of Coronavirus, please consult the NHS website. Scotland is now operating a 'Test and Protect' strategy.
The Protect Scotland app is available to download for free via Apple and Google stores.
Please note that this information may be different to the situation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.