Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): local protection levels

Published: 25 Nov 2020
Last updated: 4 Dec 2020 - see all updates

Find out the COVID protection level for each local area and get information on what you can and cannot do at each level.

Contents
Coronavirus (COVID-19): local protection levels
Protection Level 1

COVID protection level 1

Enter a postcode to check a local COVID protection level. View maps of local authority area boundaries.

Meeting others indoors (socialising)

 

Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands and Na h-Eileanan Siar

On the Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands and Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles) people can meet another household indoors, in a private home or in a public place such as a bar, pub, café or restaurant. The maximum number of people who can meet indoors is 6 which can be from up to 2 separate households.

Anyone who has travelled outwith these island authorities for non-essential purposes in the preceding 14 days should limit their contact with other island residents and should not meet with another household in a private home for a 14 day period from the date of their arrival on the Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands or Na h-Eileanan Siar.

All other Level 1 areas

At this time, with the exception of those who live in the Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands or Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles), those who live in a Level 1 area should not meet anyone who is not in their household indoors, in their home or in another person’s home. They can meet another household indoors, in a public place such as a bar, pub, café or restaurant. The maximum number of people who can meet indoors in a public place (not a home) is 6 which can be from up to 2 separate households. 

Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards the total number of people permitted to gather indoors in a public place but do count towards the maximum of 2 households permitted to meet. For example a children’s party with 10 children from more than 2 separate households would not be allowable, but 6 adults and 4 children from 2 households could meet.

Children under 12 do not need to maintain physical distance from others indoors.

Where an individual household includes more than 6 people, they can nevertheless meet as a single household even if the total number of people exceeds 6.

You can go into another household to provide care and support for a vulnerable person. Read Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for unpaid carers.

When you meet people from another household indoors you should:

  • minimise the number of meetings you have with people from other households each day
  • stay at least 2 metres apart from anyone who is not part of your household, unless in a public venue that is operating 1 metre distancing with additional measures being in place to avoid transmission
  • maintain hand and cough hygiene
  • avoid touching hard surfaces with your hands
  • wash your hands when you arrive, when you leave, when you get home and especially before eating or after touching surfaces
  • not share food or utensils – if eating, each household should bring, prepare and eat its own food separately
  • if possible, keep rooms well ventilated – consider opening windows or a door

Those at a higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus (including those who had been shielding, people 70 and over, people who are pregnant and people with an underlying medical condition) should strictly follow the physical distancing guidance.

Meeting others outdoors (socialising)

 

You can meet people from other households outdoors  in a private garden or in a public place such as a park or an outdoor area of a pub.  The maximum number of people who can meet outdoors is 8 which can be from up to 3 separate households.

Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards the total number of people counted in a gathering.  Children under 12 do not need to maintain physical distance from others.  This is to allow children under 12 to play with their friends outside.

Young people aged between 12 and 17 can meet up in groups of up to 6 at a time outdoors and are not subject to the 2 household limit. Physical distancing is required.

Where an individual household includes more than 8 people, they can continue to meet outside as a household even if the total number of people exceeds 8.

You should:

  • minimise the number of meetings you have with people from other households each day
  • stay at least 2 metres away from anyone who is not part of your household
  • maintain hand and cough hygiene
  • avoid touching hard surfaces with your hands
  • wash your hands when you arrive, when you leave, when you get home and especially before eating or after touching surfaces
  • not share food or utensils – if eating, each household should bring, prepare and eat its own food separately

Those at a higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus (including those who had been shielding, people 70 and over, people who are pregnant and people with an underlying medical condition) should strictly follow the physical distancing guidance.

Going into someone else’s home (socialising)

 

If you are meeting people from another household in their garden, you should only go into their house to:

  • access the garden – do so quickly and without touching anything
  • use the toilet – avoid touching surfaces with your hands as much as possible, wipe any surfaces that you do touch with antibacterial wipes, wash your hands thoroughly, dry your hands with a freshly laundered towel or a paper towel, which you should dispose of in a closed bin.

If members of another household are going to visit you and might need to use your toilet, you should ensure appropriate cleaning materials are available. You should also provide either a hand towel for each visiting household or paper towels and a safe disposal option.

Extended households

 

People who live in different places can form an “extended household” in the following circumstances:

  • People who live alone
    If you are an adult and you live alone, or if all others in your household are under 18, you, any children who live with you, and the members of one other household (of any size) can agree to form an 'extended household'. This will allow ​​​​​​people who live alone (or those living only with children under the age of 18) to be considered part of another household in order to reduce loneliness, isolation and to provide mutual social support.
  • Couples who do not live together
    Two adults who are in a relationship and they do not live together they, and any children they each live with, can agree to form an 'extended household'. 

However, if one member of a household gets coronavirus, there is a strong likelihood that other members of that household will also catch it. For this reason, there are some important rules that extended households should follow to remain as safe as possible:

  • a household must not form an extended household with more than one other household
  • households can end the arrangement at any time, but should not then form an extended household with a new household for at least a 14-day period. 

All the adults living in both households should agree to form the extended household. We also encourage parents or guardians to involve their children in discussions.  Forming an extended household is an important decision that should be properly discussed and agreed beforehand. Physical distancing between members of an extended household is not required

Once two households have agreed to form an extended household they may meet outdoors or indoors, visit and stay at each other’s homes, and do everything that people in other households can do, such as watch TV, share a meal and look after each other’s children.

Members of an extended household are considered to be one household for the  legal requirements on meeting other households and going outside, and for the guidance in this document about seeing friends and family and about exercise and leisure activity.

You can continue to interact with members of your extended household even if they live in a different area with a different Level of protective measures. 

If someone in the extended household develops COVID-19 symptoms, to avoid spreading the virus all members of the extended household must isolate immediately if they met the symptomatic person at any time between 2 days before and up to 10 days after their symptoms started.

If the symptomatic person tests positive, all members of their direct household must isolate for 14 days from the start of symptoms. Similarly, other members of the extended household must isolate for 14 days from when the most recent contact took place. Isolate means staying in your own home for the full 14 days.

Read more: Test and Protect: self-solation guidance

Those at a higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus (including people over 70, people who are pregnant and people with an underlying medical condition) may take part in an extended household arrangement, but should strictly follow the handwashing, surface cleaning and respiratory hygiene guidance on the NHS Inform website.

Shared parenting

 

Where parents do not live in the same household, children can move between their parents’ homes in all levels, this includes both supervised and unsupervised visitation. 

 Read more: 

Hospitality

 

Restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars can open indoors and outdoors for the consumption of food and alcoholic drinks in line with licensing rules.  Last entry is 21:30 and all venues must be closed and all customers off the premises by 22:30. The hospitality sector should follow: sector guidance for tourism and hospitality

The maximum number of people you can meet indoors in a restaurant, café, pub or bar is 6 which can be from up to 2 separate households. 

The maximum number of people you can meet in an outdoors area of a café, pub or bar is 8 which can be from up to 3 separate households. 

Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards the total number of people permitted to gather indoors in a public place but do count towards the maximum of 2 households permitted to meet. For example a children’s party with 10 children from more than 2 separate households would not be allowable, but 6 adults and 4 children from 2 households could meet.

Where an individual household includes more than 8 people they can continue to meet as a household in hospitality premises, although the venue may impose a smaller group limit.

Table service and the wearing of face-coverings (unless exempt) when not seated by all customers is mandatory in all hospitality venues. When meeting people from more than one other household, you should think beforehand about what size of table you will need to keep physically distanced between members of your group. The venue you are visiting should be able to advise you of booking options.

You will be asked by to provide your contact details for Test and Protect purposes  This information is retained for 21 days with a view to sharing with Test and Protect Teams, if required. 

Hospitality venues are required to put in place additional measures to minimise transmission of COVID-19. For example hand sanitiser stations and adequate ventilation. There will also be signs to inform customers whether the venue is in a 2 metres or 1 metre social distancing area.

You should stay at least 2 metres apart from people from other households at all times, unless the venue is operating 1 metre distancing due to additional measures being in place to avoid transmission. Physical distancing and good hand hygiene remain the most effective measures in reducing the transmission of COVID-19. Therefore, distancing requirements need to be maintained, where reasonably practicable, at all times, including when waiting to enter premises and when seated.

You should avoid visiting multiple hospitality premises on the same day. In particular, do not visit more than one pub or bar on the same day, as this increases the risk of transmission.

Takeaways can still operate as normal, provided food and drink is sold for consumption off the premises. Face coverings and physical distancing rules must be followed.

Room service in hotels and other accommodation providers is allowed as normal.

Holiday accommodation

 

All holiday accommodation (Hotels, B&Bs, self-catering, caravan and camping sites) can stay open, in line with sector guidance for tourism and hospitality. At present you must only stay with your household (or extended household) in self-catering accommodation as it is considered a private dwelling. This reflects current socialising in private dwellings in Level 1. The default position is you can stay with a  maximum of 6 people from up to 2 households (or extended households). This has been reduced to a single household (or extended household), as we transition to the new levels. This tighter limit is intended to be temporary, and when it is considered safe to change it for private dwellings then this will also apply to self-catering.

If you are staying with another household in a hotel or B & B you should not have more than one household (or extended household) staying in each room booked.  You should also maintain a 2 metre social distance between different households (or extended households) for the duration of your stay.

You can meet in a group of up to 6 people from up to 2 households indoors in a public setting in your holiday accommodation.

Workers' accommodation

 

Travel and transport

 

​​​​​​You must not travel into or out of Level 3 and 4 local authority areas except for essential reasons. See further guidance on travel and transport and view maps of local authority area boundaries.

Shopping

 

All retailers can open providing they follow and have implemented Scottish Government guidance to ensure the safety of customers and staff. 

Read more:

Whilst retailers will implement procedures to ensure the safety of customers and staff it is an individual’s responsibility to ensure they comply with the following guidance:

  • do not visit any retail premises if you have tested positive or have developed any of the COVID-19 symptoms

  • you must wear a face covering when you go into any retail premises including any indoor area of a shopping centre, unless exempt. Face covering policy

  • you must follow direction signs, one way systems and shop capacities if provided by a retail outlet

  • maintain a 2 metre physical distance between people not in your household (or extended household)

  • if shopping with others you must only do so from a maximum of 6 people from up to 2 different households (or extended households)

In order to keep transmission rates as low as possible you are also advised to:

  • avoid crowded shops. Try to avoid times when shops will be busy. If you do not think you can maintain social distancing in a shop, come back later

  • visit stores that are using infection control measures and use the available hand sanitiser

  • try to avoid touching goods unless you intend to buy them

  • be polite. Please ensure that you are considerate to retail staff and abide by their guidance and instructions including removing face covering if requested for proof of age

  • shop local and do not travel further than necessary to visit stores

  • be patient – shopping may take longer than you may be used to and you may need to queue for longer as a result. Please do not smoke when queuing outside shops

Get help:  If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and are self-isolating, or are vulnerable or shielding and you need essential items like food or medicine you should request assistance from friends, family, community support groups, make an online order, or call the National Helpline on 0800 111 4000.

Close contact retail services

 

Close contact retail services, including mobile close contact services are permitted to operate providing they follow Scottish Government guidance to ensure the safety of customers and staff.  Read more: guidance for close contact services

Close contact services include:

  • hairdressing and barbers

  • beauty and nail services (including make-up)

  • hair removal

  • tattoo, piercing and body modification

  • fashion design, dress-fitting and tailoring

  • indoor portrait photography

  • massage therapies

  • complementary and alternative medicine services requiring physical contact or close physical proximity between persons, but not osteopathy and chiropractic services

  • spa and wellness services

  • other services or procedures which require physical contact or close physical proximity between a provider and a customer and are not ancillary to medical, health, or social care services

Whilst close contact retail service providers will implement mandated safety procedures to ensure the safety of customers and staff it is an individual’s responsibility to ensure they comply with the following guidance:

  • people should not visit any close contact service premises if they have tested positive or have developed any of the COVID-19 symptoms

  • face coverings should be worn at all times by staff and customers, unless they are exempt. Read the face covering guidance. Close contact service providers cannot provide any service such as a facial or beard trim  which requires a customer to remove their face covering

  • close contact service premises may have a maximum capacity so customers may need to queue outside

  • customers should stay at least 2 metres apart

Customers will be asked for contact details for Test and Protect purposes. This information is retained for 21 days so that it can be shared with Test and Protect Teams, if required.

Tradespeople, home repairs, and working in someone else’s home

 

Tradespeople can work in other people’s homes (essential services only in level 4) providing they follow guidance on working safely. This includes all in-home workers such as utility engineers, domestic cleaners, furniture delivery and installations.

Mobile close contact services such as hairdressers or beauticians must follow separate guidance for mobile close contact services.

Tradespeople who deliver goods or services to homes and businesses can travel between all levels for work purposes.

Safety when working in someone else’s home

When working in someone’s house you should stay 2 metres apart from the people who live there, wear a face covering and follow good hand and respiratory hygiene.

Public buildings

 

Public buildings such as libraries or community centres can open to the public.  When visiting you should comply with the physical distancing and hygiene measures in place.  Anyone visiting a building will either be required by law to wear a face covering (unless exempt) or be advised to wear one.

Some public buildings will operate an on-line booking system and some may have dedicated opening times for high risk groups. 

Read more: guidance for public libraries

Stadia and events

 

Outdoor seated and open space events are permitted with restricted numbers.

Outdoor grouped standing events should not take place.

Small seated indoor events are permitted with restricted numbers.

Places of worship

 

Places of worship are required to take measures to protect individuals, worshippers, staff members and volunteers from infection by Covid-19.  Indoor acts of worship are limited to a maximum of 50 people providing there is sufficient space to maintain 2 metre distancing.  Where that is not possible capacity will be reduced. The 2 metre distance is not required between members of the same household or extended household group, or between a carer and the person assisted by the carer. 

Events such as bar mitzvahs and christenings can take place as part of an act of worship with a maximum of 50 people.

Where a place of worship is organising an act of worship outdoors, they may do this with a maximum of 200 people, in line with outdoor live event guidance.

Places of worship are required to maintain a temporary register of worshipper and staff/volunteer contact details for a period of 21 days for Test and Protect. This is to support contact tracing as part of NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect system, in the event of an outbreak linked to a particular venue.

Life events (inc. weddings and funerals)

 

Wedding ceremonies, civil partnership registrations and funerals can take place in a place of worship, registration office or hospitality venue with a maximum number of 20 people (including the couple, the witnesses and guests) providing the venue’s capacity allows for appropriate physical distancing

Receptions and post-funeral gatherings, such as wakes, can also take place with a maximum capacity of 20 people.

People from different extended households should stay at least 2 metres apart.

Face coverings must be worn except for the couple getting married or entering a civil partnership and the person leading the ceremony during a wedding ceremony or civil partnership. 

Childcare

 

Formal childcare

Early learning and childcare can remain open. Standard protective measures are in place.

Informal childcare

Informal childcare is permitted. You should follow the rules for socialising. Further information is available on the Parent Club website.

Schools

 

Schools can remain open. Standard protective measures are in place.

Universities and colleges

 

Colleges and universities can operate using a mix of face to face and distance learning.

Driving lessons

 

Driving lessons are permitted. Specific guidance can be found at: Coronavirus (COVID-19): vehicle lessons.

Sports and exercise

 

You are permitted to meet others outdoors, following the rules about meeting other households, for informal exercise or sports.

Under 18s

All organised sports and activities are permitted, provided appropriate safety measures are followed.

Sports organisations will need to refer to guidance produced by their Scottish Governing Body of Sport and ensure they operate in line with the guidance.

Read the specific guidance and guidance for coaches, leaders, personal trainers and instructors etc. 

Adults

All organised outdoor sports, personal training and coaching are permitted, provided appropriate safety measures are followed.

Indoor group exercise classes and non-contact sports are permitted, provided safety measures are followed. Indoor contact sports are not permitted. 

Sports organisations will need to refer to guidance produced by their Scottish Governing Body of Sport and ensure they operate in line with the guidance.

Leisure and entertainment

 

Nightclubs and adult entertainment venues must be closed, (except for use in limited circumstances). 

All other leisure and entertainment businesses can be open, and should operate in line with guidance, physical distancing duties, face covering regulations and other hygiene measures.

You must ensure that you follow the rules on meeting friends and family when visiting such leisurre venues.

Outdoor group leisure activities are permitted, in line with events sector guidance.

Film and TV production can continue to take place. All such activity must be done in compliance with industry guidance .

Visitor attractions

 

All indoor and outdoor visitor attractions such as museums, galleries, educational and heritage attractions, zoos and aquariums can open providing there are physical distancing and hygiene measures in place. When visiting you should comply with the physical distancing and hygiene measures in place. Check in advance for visiting arrangements such as pre-bookable time slots. Face coverings indoors are compulsory for all visitors and staff.

Visitor attractions with shops and hospitality facilities are also able to open.

Public and customer toilets can be opened as long as it is safe to do so. Where toilets are part of a larger premises e.g. a shop, face coverings must be worn.

You must not meet socially at a visitor attraction in a group of more than 6 people from 2 separate households outdoors or indoors.

Specific sector guidance can be found at:

Public services

 

Public services are open.

Unregulated children’s activities 

 

Unregulated activities and services for children and young people include groups such as Brownies or faith-based classes for children, and activities for parents and children such as baby and toddler groups.

All activities are permitted.

Offices, call centres and other workplaces

 

People are advised to work from home wherever that is practicable.

Businesses which provide essential services can continue to operate, such as those in the Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) sector, courts and tribunals. There are 13 designated CNI sectors including agriculture and food production, activity to maintain the food supply chain, energy and transport.

Not all CNI activity will be essential. Those operations which can be done effectively through home working should be adopted.

Visiting hospitals

 

Visiting care homes

 
  • essential visits continue
  • indoor visits with one designated person for up to four hours once a week
  • garden visits with 6 max people from no more than 2 different households 60 minutes once a week
  • window visits

 Director of Public Health may advise on further relaxation if they judge that this is safe and appropriate.

Shielding

 

Contact with others

Follow the advice given to the general population.

Shopping

Strictly follow the guidelines when shopping.

If you cannot work from home

Following a workplace risk assessment, your employer should make the necessary adjustments to your workplace to protect you.

The majority of workplaces can be made safe.

School/formal childcare

Follow the advice given to the general population

Domestic abuse support

 

Coronavirus rules and guidance do not prevent anyone from leaving their home to escape domestic abuse or taking other measures to keep themselves safe from domestic abuse.

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing domestic abuse help is available.

Call Scotland’s Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0800 027 1234 or visit Safer.Scot.

Domestic abuse is a crime. Call 101 to report it or 999 in an emergency.

Support services

 

Support services, such as peer support groups, therapy groups, day centres, respite care, one to one therapy and counselling can operate, in line with guidance.

Read more:

 View a PDF table showing what you can and cannot do at protection level 1.


Contact

Email: Covid19OutbreakManagement@gov.scot

First published: 25 Nov 2020 Last updated: 4 Dec 2020 -