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We’ve come a long way since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hit earlier this year. It’s not over yet, and we must ensure that we remain informed to continue to make progress. On this page you can find:

Updated: 21 January 2021

Scottish Government updates | Scotland's route map

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Scotland’s route map is a collection of documents setting out how Scotland will transition out of lockdown. As we moved into the autumn, we reached the limit of what we could safely open and the Scottish Government announced a new approach which enables proportionate but rapid action.

A five-level framework outlining Scotland's Protection Levels, which will allow for a refreshed strategic approach to suppressing COVID-19 outbreaks across Scotland, was announced. Scotland's Strategic Framework indicates different levels of protection that might be needed based on different levels of transmission for the virus. Local Authority restrictions have been agreed and are assessed regularly.

On 4 January the First Minister announced a Scotland lockdown: new measures apply to those parts of Scotland within level four and are effectively an enhancement to level four, with a new legal requirement forbidding anyone from leaving their home except for essential purposes. Take a look at this table with what it means for different situations such as socialising, workplaces, hospitality, visitor attractions and more. 

Protection level restrictions map of Scotland

Published February 2021

Map illustrating different protection levels across Scotland

Five-level framework

Published February 2021

Breakdown of the different levels and what it means for tourism and hospitality businesses.

Stay at Home protection level

Published February 2021

A list of the regions currently in the 'Stay at Home' level and what this means for tourism and hospitality businesses

Under current Scottish law, given the state of the epidemic in those countries, unless you have a reasonable excuse (see exceptions) you must not travel between Scotland and England, Northern Ireland, Wales, County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland and Jersey. A holiday is not a reasonable excuse. Read Scottish Government guidance on travel and transport.

To suppress the spread of COVID-19 it is essential that, with limited exceptions, there is no travel to or from areas where higher numbers of people may be carrying the virus. Read the Scottish Government advice and guidance on how to travel safely. And you can view quarantine rules and information on the process for people entering the UK on the Scottish Government website.

Transport Scotland has produced a transport transition plan for transport operators as well as a guide to travelling within Scotland - with general advice.

Check In Scotland is a way to collect the contact details of people who visit hospitality businesses, such as pub, bars, restaurants and cafes, that's designed to work with NHS Scotland's Test and Protect.

The Protect Scotland app from NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect is a free, mobile phone app designed to help us protect each other, reduce the spread of coronavirus and avoid further lockdowns. We're all encouraged to download it. Of course, the best possible way for all of us individually and collectively to keep this virus under control is to follow the FACTS rules:

Get Tourism Ready | tourism and hospitality sector guidance 

How you prepare to reopen and continue to provide a safe environment for your customers and staff once open, is crucially important. Guidance is regularly reviewed and updated so please ensure you’re aware of what the guidance is – and any changes. 

It remains a gradual process and while the tourism and hospitality sector has made significant progress to date, it's not yet business as usual. There’s a lot to consider, take a look at the resources available to you.

Key points for the tourism industry:

  • It is mandatory for face masks to be worn indoor including certain indoor public places such as cinemas, galleries, museums as well as indoor hospitality venues for staff and customers when not eating and drinking (e.g. when entering a venue).
  • People from more than one household must not stay in self-catered accommodation together while restrictions on indoor private gatherings are in place. If staying in a hotel, bed and breakfast or similar accommodation, there should not be more than one household in each room booked.
  • Hospitality premises should be collecting customer contact details for Test and Protect.
  • Tables should be pre-booked where possible, with no queueing.
  • New protection levels will increase the opportunity for hospitality businesses to operate during different levels of COVID-19 restrictions. View hospitality measures for each level.
  • People must not travel between Scotland and England, Northern Ireland, Wales, County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland and Jersey. Read Scottish Government guidance on travel and transport.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The Scottish Government issued supplementary questions and answers to provide further clarification to tourism and hospitality businesses. This isn’t separate to government guidance but helps to further the understanding for industry to offer safe and legal operations within the legal requirements.

The following FAQs has been prepared by Scottish Government; in cooperation with Environmental Health Officers and the industry.

Most of Scotland is in lockdown from 5 January for the duration of the month, with a new legal requirement forbidding anyone from leaving their home except for essential purposes.

Should you still have questions please get in touch by emailing business.advice@visitscotland.com.