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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 17/11/2020

Level four introduced in some areas of Scotland

From 6pm on Friday 20 November, Glasgow City, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East and West Dunbartonshire, North and South Lanarkshire, East and South Ayrshire, Stirling and West Lothian local authority areas moved into the level four protection level. These restrictions will be lifted on 11 December.

COVID-19 protection levels (sometimes known as tiers or tier system) set out measures that can be applied nationally or locally depending on the prevalence of the virus across Scotland. Read our story on the full five level framework.

With level four restrictions due to be lifted on Friday 11 December, the First Minister has said they will confirm what levels those currently under the tightest restrictions will move into next week (8 December).

We thought it would be useful to highlight what level four means for tourism and hospitality businesses.

Level four

In level four, tourism and hospitality businesses are required to close.

Hotels, B&Bs and self-catering can remain open for essential customers only:

  • anyone who is using that accommodation for work purposes
  • anyone who requires accommodation to attend a funeral
  • anyone who is providing accommodation or support services to the homeless
  • anyone who uses that accommodation as their main residence
  • anyone who needs accommodation while moving home
  • anyone who is unable to return to their main residence

Hotels and other accommodation providers can still serve food to qualifying guests i.e. key or exempt workers, staying in their premises up to 10pm. Room service, including alcohol, is allowed as normal.

Restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars
Restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars are required to close. Takeaways can still operate as normal, provided food and drink is sold for consumption off premises. Face coverings and physical distancing rules must be followed.

Leisure and entertainment
All leisure and entertainment premises must be closed, and no live events are permitted.

Visitor attractions
All indoor visitor attractions such as museums, galleries, heritage attractions, indoor areas of zoos and aquariums are to close.

Outdoor visitor attractions, such as parks, gardens and the outdoor areas of zoos may remain open, to enable exercise and recreation to be undertaken with appropriate physical distancing in place but should only be visited in line with travel restrictions.

Visitor attractions retail and hospitality facilities must be closed.

Public and customer toilets can be opened as long as it is safe to do so. Where toilets are part of a larger premises e.g. a shop, face coverings must be worn.

Sector guidance:

Only essential retail will be able to remain open in level four.

Essential travel only to or from a level 4 local authority. Follow rules and advice on international travel. There should be no use of public transport, except for essential purposes.

In line with Competition and Markets Authority guidance, a full refund should be offered to customers who booked holiday homes but could not stay in them due to lockdown restrictions. The regulation of consumer protection is the responsibility of the UK Government at Westminster.

VisitScotland iCentres
Our iCentres in Glasgow, Balloch, Aberfoyle and Stirling will close from 4pm on Thursday 19 November.


Businesses that are required by law to close are eligible for grants every four weeks for as long as the restrictions last. Based on rateable values, awards will be for either £2,000 or £3,000. Eligibility and how to apply for a share of the fund to support businesses affected by COVID-19.

On top of this, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will now run until the end of March with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked.