Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): framework for decision making - further information

Sets out further information about the challenges Scotland faces and provides illustrative examples of the steps that might form part of initial changes to the current lockdown restrictions, when it is safe to do so.

27 page PDF

1.0 MB

27 page PDF

1.0 MB

Coronavirus (COVID-19): framework for decision making - further information
Annex A: Rules on physical distancing and broader restrictions to support the response to the public health emergency

27 page PDF

1.0 MB

Annex A: Rules on physical distancing and broader restrictions to support the response to the public health emergency

A range of measures for physical distancing and restrictions is set out in the following table. These include legal requirements set out on The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 as well as guidance or advice to the public issued by the Scottish Government The legal requirements are reviewed at least every three weeks. The next review is on 7th May.

Public health guidance is also issued to provide advice to the public around health measures - for example, hand washing - and are rules that we should all follow.

Table A1: Rules currently in place in Scotland




Individuals should stay at home for 7 days from when they experience symptoms, or until they feel better if they are still unwell after 7 days.

Household isolation

Household should stay at home for 14 days if someone else in the house is showing symptoms. Individuals should continue to stay at home for 7 days from when they show symptoms, or until they feel better if they are still unwell after 7 days.

Shielding very high risk individuals

Shielding (effectively stay at home) is advised for people with the highest clinical risk for 12 weeks from the date on which the first shielding letters were issued, up to 18 June. Each individual has been contacted by the NHS. The rest of the household is advised to practice strict social distancing.

Strict Social Distance for high risk: 70+, pregnant, certain medical conditions

Strict adherence to social distancing guidance is advised.

No gatherings of more than two people

No gatherings of more than two people in public, subject to exceptions.

The exceptions are where everyone is from the same household, where it is essential for work purposes, to attend a funeral, or (where reasonably necessary) to facilitate a house move, provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person, provide emergency assistance, or participate in legal proceedings/fulfil a legal obligation.

Closure of schools and nurseries

Closure of schools and nurseries, apart from children of critical workers and vulnerable children.

Closure of entertainment premises and leisure facilities

Closure of specified indoor leisure and entertainment premises (including cinemas, theatres, nightclubs, bingo halls, museums, concert halls, casinos, betting shops, spas, beauty parlours, skating rinks, indoor gyms and leisure facilities). Exceptions allow some premises to remain open for the purpose of broadcasting performances or hosting blood services.

Closure of retail, libraries and certain indoor public spaces, notable exceptions

Closure of most retail, hire and library services. Exceptions include food retailers, off licences, pharmacies, DIY stores, petrol stations, car repair services, bike shops, banks, post offices, dentists, etc). Shops and libraries can also remain open insofar as they can provide a delivery service.

Closure of other venues such as places of worship, community centres and crematoriums. Certain exceptions apply - places of worship and crematoriums can open for funerals. Community centre can open for essential voluntary or public support services.

Certain outdoor public spaces

Closure of specified outdoor public spaces, including playgrounds, sports-courts, outdoor gyms, and outdoor markets.

Mass Gatherings

Ending all mass gatherings (see restrictions on no gatherings of more than two people above)

Stay at home

Individuals must stay at home except where they have a reasonable excuse, which includes (amongst other things) shopping for basic necessities; exercise - alone or with members of their household; to seek medical assistance, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and travelling to and from work, but only where it is not reasonably possible for that to be done from home.

Guidance goes further - e.g. it advises that people can exercise daily, can ensure animal welfare needs are met when necessary, and can leave home for any medical need.

Non-essential workplaces should close

Non-essential workplaces in Scotland are advised to close.

Closure and restriction of businesses selling food or drink

Certain businesses (cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars) must close or stop selling food or drink on the premises. They can continue to sell food off premises as takeaway services.

Limited exceptions apply - e.g. canteens in hospitals, prisons, some workplaces, or services to the homeless

Social distancing requirements on businesses

Businesses must take reasonable measures to ensure a 2 metre distance can be maintained between people on the premises or waiting to enter.

Closure of holiday accommodation

Businesses providing holiday accommodation (hotel, holiday home, caravan park etc) must cease, subject to limited exceptions. Exceptions include providing accommodation to people who need it because they can't return to their main home or they are attending a funeral or moving house. They can also remain open to provide homeless services, blood donation sessions or at the request of Ministers. The business can continue to provide information or services online or by phone or post.