Coronavirus (COVID-19): route map and regulatory review - 15 October 2020

Reviews of various sets of restrictions that have been introduced at different stages

This document is part of a collection

This update on the coronavirus regulations brings together reviews of various sets of restrictions that have been introduced at different stages, reflecting the Scottish Government’s determined action to suppress the virus.

Restrictions announced on 22 September

In view of the deteriorating position of the epidemic, the First Minister announced on 22 September that several restrictions would be introduced and existing rules and measures strengthened to reduce transmission of the virus. These included the restriction on in-home socialising. As regulations relating to these measures were made on 24 September, the First Minister committed to review the regulations within three weeks, i.e. by 15 October (today). The associated regulations have been reviewed and are considered to remain both necessary and proportionate to tackle the ongoing public health emergency.

Route Map update

In a statement on 1 October, the First Minister confirmed that the Phase 3 Route Map changes that had previously been given an indicative date of 5 October, which was conditional on continued progress in suppressing the epidemic, would not proceed on that date. These Route Map measures have also been reviewed. In view of the current status of the epidemic, restrictions and guidance on the following settings and activities will remain in place:

  • soft play centres
  • mobile close contact services
  • contact sports for people aged 12 years and over indoors
  • certain outdoor live events
  • indoor live events
  • certain entertainment venues like theatres and music venues
  • stadia (for limited re-opening)
  • plans for a phased and limited return to non-essential offices

Along with the UK Government, the Scottish Government is making financial support available to support certain businesses affected by the restrictions, subject to the limitations on its funding.

Temporary measures

On 7 October the First Minister announced that further, temporary restrictions would be introduced on a nationwide basis with other specific measures being introduced across the Central Belt[1] reflecting the higher rates of incidence and prevalence currently in that area in general. In addition, some existing rules and guidance were strengthened alongside wider measures to reduce transmission. The temporary measures are planned to last until Sunday 25 October inclusive (the regulations expire at 6 am on 26 October). These measures are required to be reviewed within seven days: they have now been reviewed in light of the latest information on the epidemic and remain necessary and proportionate. We will continue to assess whether further restrictions are necessary to suppress the virus.

West of Scotland measures

Earlier in September, the Scottish Government introduced specific measures to reduce transmission of the virus in areas in the West of Scotland, initially in three local authority areas but extending in stages to include other areas. These measures have for the most part been replaced by those affecting the Central Belt that were announced on 7 October. However, a residual restriction on visiting care homes and hospitals remains in place and will continue.

We will keep the various restrictions in place under review, in light of the evolving status of the epidemic in Scotland, and will keep the Scottish Parliament updated.


[1] The Central Belt is for these purposes defined as covering the health board regions of Lothian, Lanarkshire, Forth Valley, Ayrshire & Arran and Greater Glasgow & Clyde.

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