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Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for the soft play sector

Guidance for soft play centres to help the sector to prepare for re-opening (at level 0 or 1) .

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for the soft play sector


This guidance is for the soft play sector in Scotland. Soft play is defined as: children's play facilities or equipment constructed from soft materials and components, and intended to provide a safe environment for play and exercise (frequently in soft play centres). This also includes play which uses such equipment or facilities. Although this guidance is aimed at soft play centres the principles and controls would be applicable to experiential play, play cafes and other similar indoor activities for children.

Soft play centres have been required to remain closed by law and this guidance is to assist the sector to prepare for re-opening at Level 1 and Level 0 in line with the updated Coronavirus (COVID-19): Scotland’s Strategic Framework.

Scotland follows a COVID-19 levels system. There are 5 levels (0-4) and each has a different set of rules.

Find out the level and rules for an area using the postcode checker.

Guidance will be reviewed on a regular basis as our priority remains containing the spread of the virus, saving lives and safeguarding the NHS.

This guidance has been developed in collaboration with industry, trade unions, regulators, and others. Protecting the health of workers is at the heart our approach. Partnership working is fundamental to establishing a shared confidence around the safety of returning to workplaces, protecting public health and supporting Scotland’s economic recovery.

This document provides guidance to inform the owners and operators of soft play centres, activities or equipment in Scotland of ongoing legal restrictions and requirements related to the coronavirus and help them plan for re-opening services in the future. It has been designed to be applied to all indoor play centres and settings with soft play equipment, such as play cafes.

Each soft play operator will need to translate this into the specific actions they need to take depending on the nature of their business (i.e. the size and type of business, how it is organised, operated, managed and regulated) using this document as a guide.

This is provided as guidance only and does not amount to legal advice. Employers and facility operators may wish to seek their own advice to ensure compliance with all legal requirements.

First published: 30 Oct 2020 Last updated: 15 Jul 2021 -