Scottish guidance

This guidance details the Scottish Government's route map to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
The Scottish Government has issued a route map. Visit their website to see all guidance:



Staying safe and protecting others: physical distancing

To stay safe and protect others we must minimise the opportunity for Coronavirus (COVID-19) to spread from one person to another.

Scotland are now moving into phase 3 of their route map as of 9 July 2020.

To prevent spread of the virus we should all follow the FACTS. It is the sum of our individual actions, our collective endeavour, that is suppressing the virus.



Face coverings.
Avoid crowded places.
Clean hands regularly.
Two metre distance.
Self isolate and book a test if you have symptoms.


The Scottish Government advises the following measures in each phase:

  • Physical distancing requirements in place.
  • Frequent handwashing and hygiene measures for all.
  • Cough etiquette is maintained.
  • Face coverings in enclosed public spaces.


Key dates for changes

The Scottish Government have confirmed key dates for changes:


Friday 10 July

  • It will be mandatory to wear face coverings in shops and other retail.
  • 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.
  • A household can meet up to 4 other households per day in total.
  • The limit on the number of other households you can meet per day (indoors or outdoors) does not apply to young people who are under 18.
  • Children aged 11 or under no longer need to physically distance indoors. Young people aged 12-17 must continue to physically distance.
  • Extended Households: All non-cohabiting partners (and any children under 18 in the household) can form extended households without physical distancing.

Monday 13 July

  • Non-essential shops inside shopping centres can re-open (following guidance and with physical distancing).
  • All dental practices may begin to see registered patients for non-aerosol routine care. Urgent care centres will continue to provide aerosol generating procedures.
  • Organised outdoor contact sports, play and physical activity can resume for children and young people under 18 (subject to guidance).
  • Face-to-face youth work can resume outdoors (following relevant guidance).

Wednesday 15 July

  • Places of worship can re-open for congregational services, communal prayer and contemplation with physical distancing and limited numbers.
  • Museums, galleries, monuments, libraries, various other visitor attractions, cinemas (including drive-ins and venues screening films) – with physical distancing and other measures (g.ticketing in advance).
  • Hairdressers and barbers can re-open – with enhanced hygiene measures.
  • All childcare providers can open subject to individual provider arrangements.
  • Indoor hospitality can reopen (subject to physical distancing rules and guidance).
  • All holiday accommodation permitted (following relevant guidance).
  • Easing of restrictions on attendance at funerals, marriage ceremonies and civil partnership registrations with physical distancing (limited numbers). Associated receptions are subject to restrictions on hospitality and household meetings.

Wednesday 22 July

  • 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.
  • Other personal retail services such as beauticians and tailors can re-open – with enhanced hygiene measures.
  • Motorcycle instruction and theory/hazard tests can resume. Tractor driver instruction can resume.


The announcement on the 30 July 2020, introduced the following changes:

30 July 2020

  • Self-isolation extends from 7 days to 10 days

1 August 2020

  • Shielding will be paused

3 August 2020

  • Relaxed certain restrictions on some support groups and services
  • Routine eye care services, including regular eye examinations, can now be carried out in community optometry premises, and if necessary, in people’s homes.

11 August 2020

  • Schools will begin to reopen

17 August 2020

  • urgent dental care, involving aerosols may begin
Please note, these changes do not apply to people who are advised to shield until the 1 August 2020.

When should I self–isolate?

You should self-isolate when you or a household member have the most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • new continuous cough and/or
  • high temperature
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

The person who displays symptoms must self isolate for  10 days unless they still have a temperature, the rest of the household must isolate for 14 days, or 10 days post show symptoms.

What should I do when isolating?

You should remain in your home. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital, work, school, or public areas, and do not use public transport or taxis.

You will need to ask friends or relatives if you require help with buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication. Alternatively, you can order medication by phone or online. You can also order your shopping online. Make sure you tell delivery drivers to leave items outside for collection if you order online. The delivery driver should not come into your home.

Who do I tell if I think I need to self-isolate?

If a member of staff has to self isolate for any of the above reasons, please contact your line manager who will be able to give guidance and support on this process.

Thereafter you will receive written confirmation via email or post from HR with links to the Employee Assistance Programme and your local Mental Health First Aider, should you require additional support.

When can I return to work after self-isolating?

You must stay at home for 10 days after your symptoms first started.

If someone in your household is showing symptoms, you should stay at home for 14 days from the first day the household member started to show symptoms.

If you have been contacted by an NHS contact tracer, follow the guidance given to you on self-isolating.

A cough may persist for several weeks in some people, despite the coronavirus infection having cleared. A persistent cough alone does not mean you must continue to self-isolate for more than 10 days.

However, if you still have a high temperature after 10 days you should stay at home until your temperature returns to normal.

If you develop new symptoms at any point after ending your first period of isolation, then you need to follow the same guidance on self-isolation again.


The Scottish Government advice is to keep shielding until the 31 July 2020.

From 10 July 2020, people who are shielding at home can:

  • stop physically distancing from the people they live with
  • use indoor toilets in other people’s houses when visiting them outdoors
  • meet up to 8 people outdoors, from 2 other households, in a single day
  • travel further than 5 miles from your house, as far as they want
  • book self-catering accommodation or travel to a second home – only to stay over with people they live with at home

All current support measures will continue until the 31 July 2020.

There will be a pause on shielding from 1 August 2020. People who are currently shielding can now follow the guidance for the general population. People who are more vulnerable should continue to take precautions for their safety including face coverings, hand hygiene and social distancing.

Adults who are currently shielding will be able to return to work. The general advice remains that people should work from home if possible.


Forming an extended household

  • If you are an adult and you live alone, or if all the others in your household are under 18, you and the members of one other household can agree to form an ‘extended household’.
  • Everyone in the extended household will be able to act, and will be treated, as if they live in one household – meaning they can spend time together inside each other’s homes and not need to stay at least 2 metres apart.
  • From 10 July 2020, all non-cohabiting partners (and any children under 18 in the household) can form extended households without physical distancing.


Gatherings and meeting other people

Public gatherings inside or outside are still restricted, however from Wednesday 15 July:

  • places of worship can re-open for services, subject to physical distancing and limited numbers
  • various visitor attractions will be allowed to open, subject to physical distancing and other measures
  • restrictions on attendance at funerals and marriages/civil partnership ceremonies will be eased subject to physical distancing and limited numbers

As of 10 July 2020, gatherings are only permitted:

  • where a gathering is of people from up to 5 households (outdoors) or 3 households (indoors). If someone from one of those households requires a carer, from another household, to assist them for their health and wellbeing, that carer is also permitted to attend
  • where the gathering is for education or training
  • where the gathering is for work purposes, or for the provision of voluntary or charitable services – but individuals should try to minimise all meetings and other gatherings in the workplace, and practice physical distancing, hand hygiene and cough etiquette.
  • where the gathering is to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person
  • where the gathering is to provide emergency or medical assistance
  • where the gathering is to avoid injury, illness or to escape a risk of harm
  • where the gathering is to facilitate a house move
  • where the gathering is to participate in legal proceedings or fulfilling a legal obligation
  • where the gathering is to donate blood
  • where the gathering is to access public services
  • for a small wedding ceremony or civil partnership registration outside. This is allowed provided that the gathering consists of people from no more than 5 households.  But this restriction does not include the registrar or celebrant, or, where required, any interpreter
  • funerals,  which can be attended by close family or other members of the person’s household. If no family member or member of the same household is able to attend, a friend living in a separate household can attend


Physical distancing is for everyone.

Remote working should remain the default position for those who can. Where that is not possible businesses and organisations are encouraged to manage travel demand through staggered start times and flexible working patterns.

As Scotland continues to progress along the route map out of lockdown, the Chief Medical Officer’s advice remains that all non-essential business premises, sites and attractions should close unless and until guidance on how they can safely reopen is published.

All published guidance on business premises will be found at: Coronavirus (COVID-19): returning to work safely

As such the Scottish Government advises that all business premises, sites and attractions not required by law to close should remain closed unless:

  • essential to the health and welfare of the country during this crisis or
  • supporting (or being repurposed to support) essential services or
  • your business is able to open in accordance with the current position in the Scotland’s Route Mapand
  • apart from in exceptional circumstances critical to lives and safety, capable of working in a way which is fully consistent with established physical distancing advice
  • every person in Scotland should continue to comply with the measures contained in: Coronavirus (COVID-19): staying safe and protecting others

The relevant authorities, including the police, have been given the powers to enforce the measures – including through issuing fines and dispersing gatherings.


Children and Young People (aged 0-17)

From 10 July 2020, children aged 11 or under no longer need to physically distance indoors.

Young people aged 12-17 must continue to physically distance in line with the current phase 3 guidance.

Subject to current guidance and infection rate, children will be able to return to school full time from 11 August 2020.


Outdoor activity

We advise that you may go outdoors for a walk, wheel, run or cycle. We are expanding our advice so you can also take part in non-contact outdoor activities such as golf, hiking, canoeing, outdoor swimming, angling, etc:.

  • you should maintain strict physical distancing at all times, even if you live with the person you are out with. This means keeping 2 metres (or three steps) away from other people at all times.
  • choose times and areas that are quiet, if you can
  • wash your hands for at least 20 seconds as soon as you get back home

Organised outdoor contact sports, play and physical activity can resume for children and young people under 18 (subject to guidance) from Monday 13 July 2020.


Face coverings

Physical distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene are the most important and effective things we can all do to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Therefore, the wearing of face coverings must not be used as an alternative to any of these other precautions.

In enclosed spaces, where physical distancing is more difficult and where there is a risk of close contact with multiple people who are not members of your household, you should wear a face covering.

Examples include: shops or businesses; visits to a care home for the elderly; visits to adult hospitals as an outpatient; and GP surgeries or pharmacies where it is not always possible to maintain a 2 metre distance from other people. There is no evidence to suggest there might be a benefit outdoors from wearing a face covering unless in an unavoidable crowded situation.

Face coverings should not be used for children under the age of five years.

From 10 July 2020, it will become mandatory to wear a face covering in shops and other retail.


Face coverings on public transport

People must by law wear a face covering on public transport  and public transport premises such as train stations and airports

Specific exemptions provide that certain categories of people are not required to wear a face covering. This includes children under five years of age, a police constable or workers such as paramedics acting in the course of their duty.  Staff such as drivers who are physically separated, by means of, for example, screens, from other staff and passengers are also exempt from wearing face coverings.

You may also have a reasonable excuse not to wear a face covering if, for example:

  • you have a health condition where a face covering would be inappropriate because it would cause difficulty, pain or severe distress or anxiety or because you cannot apply a covering and wear it in the proper manner safely and consistently.
  • you have a reasonable need to eat or drink
  • you need to take medication
  • you need to communicate with someone else who relies on lip reading
  • a relevant person, such as a police officer, asks you to remove your face covering


Test and Protect

Test and Protect is part of the Scottish Government’s strategy to combat the spread of COVID-19. It supports the ‘test, trace, isolate, support’ approach.

  • Anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus will be required to self-isolate for 10 days.
  • They will be asked to provide details of people they have been in close contact with to their local contact tracing team.
  • An NHS contact tracer will contact people who have been in close contact with someone with coronavirus and ask them to self-isolate for 14 days, even if they don’t have any symptoms.


Who can be tested for COVID-19?

In Scotland anyone aged 5 or over can be tested if they have COVID-19 symptoms.

Priority tests are available for key workers and members of their household.


How do I get tested for COVID-19?

If you or a member of your household has symptoms of COVID-19, you can request to be tested through the NHS website:

As a key worker you can request a priority test from the UK Government website:

You will be able to visit a drive-in testing site or request a home testing kit.

The drive-in testing sites are located at:

  • Glasgow Airport
  • Edinburgh Airport
  • Aberdeen Airport
  • Prestwick Airport
  • Inverness – University of the Highlands and Islands campus
  • Perth – University of Highland and Islands campus

There are also a number of mobile testing units which will be located in towns across Scotland for short periods each time.


Last updated: 30 July 2020, 3.34pm