Where we are now
Publication of this guidance does not signal an immediate change in Scotland’s lockdown policy.
To judge whether and when restrictions can be changed we will consider a range of evidence on the progress of the pandemic in Scotland using the principles set out in Coronavirus (COVID-19): framework for decision making and our long established commitment to fair work. As Scotland continues to ease lockdown restrictions, organisations including the Institute of Directors (IoD), SCDI, STUC, COSLA and SCVO have signed a fair work statement underlining the collaborative approach needed between employers, unions and workers to ensure workplaces can operate safely.
The First Minister announced that Scotland would be entering a lockdown on 23 March 2020. Under law, the Scottish Government must review that lockdown at least every three weeks. The Coronavirus (COVID-19): framework for decision making – Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis, was published on 21 May and sets out the phases by which we will aim to ease lockdown. We are currently in Phase 3.
The phases will be gradual and incremental and will be matched with careful monitoring of the virus. Parts of the Route Map that are likely to be directly relevant to being able to hold events are:
- Phase 2: resumption of professional sport in line with public health advice (from 22 June)
- Phase 3: live events permitted with restricted numbers and physical distancing; Museums, galleries, libraries, cinemas open, subject to physical distancing and hygiene measures; Relaxation of restrictions on accommodation providers
- Phase 4: further relaxation of restrictions on live events in line with public health advice; and mass gatherings resume in line with public health advice
On 2 July, an update on the approach to physical distancing in Scotland as we move through the COVID-19 crisis was published. The general advice is . The default physical distancing requirement is 2 metres. As we enter Phase 3 of the route map some workplaces or settings within specific sectors could, on an exceptional basis, see the required distancing reduced from 2 metres to 1 metre, on the condition that appropriate mitigations are in place. The sectors identified for exceptions at this time are: outdoor hospitality; indoor hospitality; public transport and retail. We will continue to review other settings for potential exceptions where it is safe to do so but 2 metres will remain the default position.
On 9 July, the Scottish Government published Coronavirus (COVID-19) Phase 3: Scotland's route map update, setting out the move to Phase 3 in Scotland's route map through and out of the crisis. As in Phase 2, we are introducing the changes over Phase 3 in stages rather than all on one date.
The Scottish Government has now announced that drive-in live events can begin from 22 July. Drive-in cinemas were already permitted to operate from 15 July.
Physical distancing duties are set out in regulation 4(1) of the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Regulations 2020. A person who is responsible for carrying on a business or providing a service must take all reasonable measures:
- to ensure that a distance of 2 metres is maintained between any persons on the premises (except between members of the same household or a carer and the person assisted by the carer)
- to ensure that they only admit people to its premises in sufficiently small numbers to make it possible to maintain that distance
- to ensure that a distance of 2 metres is maintained between any person waiting to enter the premises (except between members of the same household, or a carer and the person assisted by the carer)
The regulations are being updated as gatherings in public places for events involving the public are allowed to resume.
Page last updated: 27 July 2020