Guidance in Scotland

This guidance details the Scottish Government's route map to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
This page was last updated on: 8 October 2020, 3.18pm


The Scottish Government has created ‘FACTS’ to help you remember what to do to keep you and other people safe from the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).


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

The Scottish Government has created some accessible documents to help you remember the FACTS:


Physical distancing

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

This means keeping a 2-metre distance from others when in public places and indoors.

Where it is difficult to keep a 2-metre social distance, you should wear a face covering.

More information:


Changes to rules in hospitality

The First Minister has announced further restrictions within hospitality. The restrictions on licenced premises take effect from 6pm on Friday 9 October.

The following rules apply in all areas of Scotland, except for the central belt areas which have additional rules. The central belt includes Ayrshire and Arran, Forth Valley, Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, and Lothian.


Hospitality (food and drink):

  • all premises (such as bars, cafes and restaurants) may only open indoors between 6am and 6pm, with no sales of alcohol
  • premises may open outdoors until 10pm, with sales of alcohol (where licensed)
  • takeaways (including from pubs and restaurants) can continue
  • evening meals may be served in accommodation for residents only but no alcohol can be served
  • current meeting rules – a maximum of six people from two households – continue to apply
  • specific life events, such as weddings and funerals, may continue with alcohol being served, with current meeting rules for these events (maximum of 20 people in regulated premises only)


Central belt restrictions

The First Minister has announced more restrictions for the central belt areas from Friday 9 October. This includes Ayrshire and Arran; Forth Valley; Greater Glasgow and Clyde; Lanarkshire; and Lothian.

The rules on licenced premises apply from 6pm on Friday 9 October; all other rules apply from 12am on Saturday 10 October.

  • All licensed premises (such as bars and restaurants) will be required to close, with the exception of takeaway services
  • Cafes (unlicensed premises) which don’t have an alcohol licence will be able to open between 6am and 6pm
  • Takeaways (including from pubs and restaurants) can continue
  • Evening meals may be served in accommodation for residents only but no alcohol can be served
  • Specific life events, such as weddings and funerals, may continue with alcohol, with current meeting rules for these events (20 person limit in regulated premises only)
  • No group exercise classes for indoor gyms and sports courts, pools with an exemption for under 18s
  • No adult (18+) contact sports or training, except professional sports, indoor or outdoor
  • No outdoor live events
  • Snooker/pool halls, indoor bowling, casinos and bingo halls are to close
  • You should minimise use of public transport as much as possible, such as for education and work, where it cannot be done from home
  • Current meeting rules – a maximum of six people from two households – continue to apply

More information:


Face coverings

A face covering is a covering of any type, except a face shield, that covers the mouth and nose.

Every time you apply or remove a covering, it is important that you wash or sanitise your hands first and avoid touching your face.

Face coverings are mandatory in indoor places such as shops, cinemas, museums and community centres. They are also required on public transport, including trains, planes, trams, buses and ferries.

Find out more about where you must wear a face covering in Scotland:

Some people are exempt from wearing a face covering – the list can be found at:

You may remove a face covering when eating or drinking.

A police officer may issue a fine of up to £60 if you break the rules, which can increase to £120 for repeat offences.

More information:



Private homes, gardens and outdoor public spaces

From Wednesday 23 September, you are not allowed to meet other people, who are not part of your household or extended household, in a private home.

A maximum of six people from two households can meet in outdoor spaces, including private gardens.

You should limit as far as possible the total number of households you meet in a day.

Under-12s do not count towards the maximum number of households or number of people who can meet outdoors. Under-12s do not have to physically distance.


Indoors in public spaces

A maximum of six people from two households can meet in public indoor spaces such as cafes, pubs and restaurants.

Children under 12 from those two households do not count towards the limits


More information about meeting friends and family:


Extended households

People who live in different places can form an “extended household” in some circumstances.


If you live alone

If you are an adult and you live alone, or if all the others in your household are under 18, you, any children who live with you, and the members of one other household (of any size) can agree to form an ‘extended household’.

Everyone in the extended household will be treated as if they live in one household – meaning they can spend time together inside each other’s homes and do not need to stay at least 2 metres apart.

If anyone in the household gets symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) everyone will need to self-isolate and wait for the person with symptoms to be tested.

If the person with symptoms tests positive, all members of their direct household must isolate for 14 days from the start of symptoms.


Couples who do not live together

If two adults are in a relationship and they do not live together they, and any children they each live with, can agree to form an ‘extended household’.


Shared parenting

Where parents do not live in the same household, children can be moved between their parents’ homes.


For further information about extended households, visit: 


Travel and holidays

Travelling around Scotland

You can travel anywhere within Scotland, unless there are local restrictions in place advising you not to do so.

Everyone using public transport in Scotland must wear a face covering. Some people do not have to wear a face covering including for age, health, or disability reasons.


Travelling abroad

If you are planning to travel abroad, make sure you understand the following:

Also read the following guidance:

Check specific plans with the airline, ferry, train operator and accommodation provider. During the coronavirus pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.

The transport provider may put measures in place to help people follow the public health guidance of the destination country.

Foreign travel checklist:

What it covers:

  • Things to check and make sure are in place before you go
  • Entry requirements, Visas and passports
  • Insurance
  • Health
  • Things to think about when you are abroad

Quarantining after returning to Scotland from abroad

You may have to quarantine for 14 days after returning to Scotland from abroad. Do not assume that the rules applying in your destination when you book a holiday will stay the same when you are there or be the same when you travel home.

Follow the Scottish Government guidance for travelling abroad:

The list of countries which you do not need to quarantine on return to Scotland can be found here:


Car sharing

You should only car share with members of your own, or extended, household.

If you are staff member at Thera, you can find more information on travelling on the further guidance for staff page.