Skip to main content
Visit Scotland | Alba

In this section

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: 22 September 2020

Scottish Government updates | Scotland's route map

On 21 May 2020 The First Minister announced ‘Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis’. On 9 July Scotland commenced with Phase 3 of Scotland's route map to recovery.

It is mandatory for face masks to be worn in retail spaces and shops, in addition to when using public transport. Settings where face coverings must be legally worn in Scotland expanded to include certain indoor public places such as cinemas, galleries, museums and banks, from 8 August 2020. With it becoming mandatory in indoor hospitality venues for staff and customers when not eating and drinking (e.g. when entering a venue) from 14 September. View full phase 3 updates.

It is now mandatory to collect contact details of customers in a range of hospitality and public settings. The Scottish Government issued guidance to support customer and visitor data gathering for businesses and other establishments to assist contact tracing as part of NHS Scotland's Test and Protect system. 

Other key points for the tourism industry:

  • From Friday 25 September, a nationwide 10pm curfew will be in place for pubs, bars and restaurants. 
  • Hospitality premises should be collecting customer contact details for Test and Protect.
  • Tables should be pre-booked where possible, with no queueing.
  • There should be no background music and TVs should be muted to reduce the need for people to shout or lean into each other
  • Meeting one other household in indoor public places or outdoors, subject to the rule of six, can continue - this includes self-catering. 

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:

A separate transport transition plan has also been produced by Scottish Government for transport operators. There's a guide to travelling within Scotland - with general advice. And you can view quarantine rules and information on the process for people entering the UK on the Scottish Government website.

North of England: local restrictions The UK Government has added guidance on what restrictions are in place if someone lives, works or travels in the north of England area and other affected areas. 

Moment for Change | Get Tourism Ready

How you prepare to reopen and continue to provide a safe environment for your customers and staff once open, is crucially important. Ensure you’re aware of guidance for the tourism and hospitality sector, including procedures for staff and customer safety and an operations checklist.

A high level of caution and awareness is essential in order to avoid any setbacks. The Scottish Government does not want to keep restrictions in place a moment longer than is necessary, but safety must come first. Businesses are therefore requested to maintain the excellent work that has been undertaken so far and to continue working with authorities to build on that progress.

There’s a lot to consider and working with the Scottish Government and industry sector groups, we’ve pulled together the resources available to you including checklists, information on the We're Good to Go consumer mark and sources of sector-specific advice.

Latest Government advice - Frequently Asked Questions

Supplementary guidance for the hospitality industry | COVID-19

The Scottish Government issued supplementary questions and answers to provide further clarification to hospitality businesses following publication of the Scottish Government sectoral guidance in early July. This isn’t separate to government guidance but has been issued to further the understanding for industry to offer safe and legal operations within the legal requirements.

As we move through Scotland’s route-map, guidance will be regularly reviewed and updated. It remains a gradual process and while the hospitality sector has made significant progress to date with reopening outdoor and indoor areas, and with reduced physical distancing to one metre, it's not yet business as usual.

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