Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Phase 3: staying safe and protecting others

Published: 22 Jul 2020
Last updated: 31 Jul 2020 - see all updates

Rules on staying safe and protecting others to help suppress the virus.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Phase 3: staying safe and protecting others
Sports, culture and leisure activities

Sports, culture and leisure activities


Exercise and activity

You may meet outdoors with members of up to four other households at a time for exercise or activity.

This means that events such as organised races, walking club trips and cycle club rides that would involve people from more than five households are not permitted.

If meeting people from another household outdoors, you should meet only in small groups - no more than 15 people in total at a time, and you should not meet people from more than four other households each day. 

Use your judgement and only take part in an activity if you can do so safely, maintain physical distancing and not put yourself or others at risk.

Plan in advance and do not take unnecessary risks that may result in the need for medical care or emergency services support. You should also consult the safety guidance for each individual activity before taking part. This can be found on the sportscotland website.

When taking part in activity outside, where possible, avoid touching surfaces with your hands, sharing equipment and touching your mouth and face. Follow advice on the NHS Inform website about hygiene and wash your hands as soon as you get home.

Personal training/coaching

One on one personal training or coaching is permitted if it is outdoors, physical distancing can be maintained, and is with members of your household and/or members of up to four other households.

A coach or personal trainer should not deliver training to more than four households at any one time or provide training to more than four households per day.

When participating in training or coaching, where possible, avoid touching surfaces and sharing equipment and touching your mouth and face.

Organised outdoor sport for children and young people

Sports organisations will need to refer to guidance produced by their Scottish Governing Body of Sport and ensure they operate as per the guidance. Sports clubs will need to have a named Covid Officer who must complete documented risk assessments and ensure all appropriate mitigations are put in place by the sports organisation before any children’s outdoor activity is undertaken. 

This will include strict hygiene measures and the ability to contact trace participants. 

They will also need to ensure all coaches, including any volunteers, are aware of and understand their responsibilities under the guidance and any related public health guidance. 

Sports can use a ‘field bubble’ where physical contact is allowed on the field of play when the activity is taking place.  Outwith the ‘field bubble’, children and young people should abide by the guidance on physical distancing as outlined above.


Indoor sport facilities must remain closed at this time.

Outdoor sports courts are permitted to open. Participants should maintain strict physical distancing at all times when using outdoor sports courts.

Outdoor play parks and outdoor gym equipment can open, but strict physical distancing should be followed. The virus can be transmitted when you touch surfaces.

Different groups of children may use a play park at the same time as each other.  However, children should not use a play park if it is crowded. Please encourage children to be considerate of others when making use of facilities.

If children use a play park they should be extra careful about hand hygiene and everyone should use an alcohol based hand rub (hand sanitiser) immediately before and after using the play equipment.

Adults and those aged 12 and over accompanying younger children to playparks should continue to distance physically from one another.

Play park owners or operators should take appropriate steps to ensure the safety of equipment and minimise the risk of transmission through users touching contaminated surfaces. This includes:

  • pre-opening checks ensure equipment is safe;
  • signs reinforcing the requirement for good hand hygiene and physical distancing;
  • marking out physical distancing and traffic flow where practical. It is recognised that play parks come in all shapes and sizes and for some signage may be sufficient.
  • increased litter/waste collection from bins should be arranged if appropriate.

Open facilities without staff, such as outdoor skate parks or cycle pump tracks can be used, provided physical distancing is maintained.

Museums, galleries and heritage attractions

Museums, galleries and heritage attractions are able to open as long as they follow the specific museum, galleries and heritage sector guidance. Decisions on whether to open are for individual organisations to take.  

Many museums, galleries and heritage attractions have retail and hospitality offerings. Any organisations which are planning to open hospitality or retail spaces must ensure that they follow the most up to date guidance and must ensure that appropriate mitigations are put in place.


Libraries can reopen to the public, with physical distancing and hygiene measures in place.

Many public access libraries are operated by local authorities which will decide when and what services are offered. Members of the public should contact their local library service to check which libraries are open and what services are available before travelling to a library: some library services may operate a booking system for visiting the library or for using PC equipment, and some may have dedicated opening times for high risk groups. When visiting a library, you should familiarise themselves with the risk assessed physical distancing and hygiene measures put in place for everyone’s safety.  

Guidance for public libraries has been published.


Cinemas and venues screening films can open.  

Cinemas will operate in line with physical distancing requirements and you should stay at least 2m apart at all times from those not in your household or extended household. Events and venues may ask you to comply with other restrictions they choose to impose to keep people at a safe distance and maintain hygiene.

Drive-in cinemas and events

As of 22 July, drive-in live events can begin. Drive-in cinemas have been permitted to operate since 15 July. 

When attending a drive-in event or cinema, members of no more than one extended household should be present in each vehicle.

The capacity at each event will be calculated to allow physical distancing to be maintained for both staff and customers. Customers will be expected to remain in their vehicles at all times, other than to access toilets and concession areas, such as food and drink stands. The spacing of vehicles will take account of the need to maintain physical distancing if people need to leave their vehicles. Further details are available in the sector guidance for events and guidance for drive-in cinemas.

First published: 22 Jul 2020 Last updated: 31 Jul 2020 -