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Visit Scotland | Alba

As it becomes available, this section will be updated with the latest coronavirus (COVID-19) information and advice to support tourism businesses through this challenging time.

This page includes information on:

We’re also proactively tracking the effects of coronavirus (COVID-19) on the industry. Take a look at our response.

Business advice and resources

First and foremost, businesses and visitors alike should follow all current guidance to minimise the spread of the virus and keep the public safe

You can also get the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Scotland at the Scottish Government website.


COVID-19 Business Support helpline | 0300 303 0660 
A helpline providing businesses across Scotland with advice and guidance on COVID-19 has been launched by the Scottish Government. The helpline is open Monday to Friday, between 8.30am to 5.30pm. Callers should select option one to speak to the COVID-19 team.

Please note that this helpline has received unprecedented demand, receiving thousands of calls since going live on 13 March. All information is also available at: findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/coronavirus-advice/

More business resources

Industry representation

Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) | The STA has remained on the front foot since the coronavirus crisis started to unfold.  The organisation is having conversations with all sizes and types of tourism businesses across Scotland around the clock and continues its dialogue with the Scottish and UK Governments to bring about the introduction of additional measures that will prevent the collapse of our industry in the coming weeks and months. Read more on their activity.

UK Hospitality | UKHospitality represents the broad hospitality sector across the UK – covering everything from bars, coffee shops, contract catering, hotels, nightclubs, visitor attractions and other leisure venues. UKHospitality and over 200 CEOs from across the UK’s hospitality sector have called on the Government to provide immediate support for businesses. Read more on their site. 

Advice for organisers of Scottish events

On 23 March both the UK and Scottish Governments called for an immediate stop to public gatherings of more than two people in a bid to flatten the curve of COVID-19 spread and protect the NHS. 

Following a meeting of the UK Government’s COBR committee, an effective ban is in place on gatherings in public places, excluding household groups or in a work-related capacity. In Scotland, the Scottish Government is introducing emergency legislation from Thursday 26 March to enforce this. View the Scottish Government’s statement.

In light of this latest Government advice, no events involving the gathering of people should be taking place for a period of at least three weeks following the statement on 23 March. Both the UK and Scottish Governments have advised they will review the situation after a period of three weeks. 

For those events not impacted by the current advice, we have prepared some general guidance. View advice for organisers of Scottish events. 

Advice for visitors already in Scotland

Visitors from all affected countries are likely going through a stressful and worrying time and may be looking for advice and support regarding their visit or travel home.

For more advice on what visitors should do during and after their travel, visit Fit for travel, which outlines information on how to stay safe and healthy abroad.

If a visitor becomes unwell

Advice for all residents and visitors with confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) or showing symptoms such as a dry cough or high temperature is to stay at home (self-isolate).

If a visitor develops coronavirus symptoms during their stay with you:

  • They should follow the latest NHS guidance to go home, where possible, and self-isolate. As much as possible they should minimise contact with others. If they are displaying symptoms, they should not be using public transport to travel home.
  • If they are unable to go home, find a room or area where they can self-isolate behind a closed door. 
  • Residents and visitors do not need to call NHS 111 to stay in self-isolation. If symptoms worsen during isolation or are no better after seven days contact NHS 111 online. If internet access is not available, call NHS 111.
  • If they are so unwell that they require an ambulance, phone 999 and let the call handler know you are concerned about COVID-19.
  • They should not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
  • Overseas visitors to Scotland, regardless of their residency status, are exempt from NHS charges for both the diagnosis and treatment of coronavirus (COVID-19). Read more on healthcare for overseas visitors.
  • Visitors should get in touch with their insurance provider as soon as possible for advice on their cover and next steps.

View more workplace advice on what to do if someone falls sick when on-site at your business from Health Protection Scotland.

Advice on traveling home

Visitors from any affected countries who are already in Scotland can keep up to date with the latest on foreign travel advice on the UK Government website, which outlines any travel restrictions in place for affected countries. They can also contact their travel operator or country's consulate in Scotland to seek advice regarding the current travel situation.

The Home Office and UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have also issued immigration guidance for individuals in the UK who are unable to return to their home country. The dedicated coronavirus immigration helpline:

Future visits to Scotland

Visitors planning a trip to Scotland in the next few months should keep up to date with the latest on foreign travel advice from their own government, which should outline any travel restrictions in place for affected countries, and check with their travel and accommodation providers before travelling. They can get the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Scotland at the Scottish Government website.

Should future visitors from any of the affected countries need to cancel their travel to Scotland, we advise that businesses contact the tour operator or visitors to re-schedule later in the year or agree a course of action that is agreeable to both parties.

Where possible, we would encourage businesses to be as flexible as possible with future booking arrangements so that visitors can enjoy a visit to Scotland at a later date.

If you have any feedback or information regarding this page or the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation please send this to business.advice@visitscotland.com.


We are updating this page on a regular basis (last updated 2 April March 2020).