Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): second homes guidance

Published: 23 Nov 2020
Last updated: 23 Apr 2021 - see all updates

Guidance outlining how Scotland's route map for easing out of lockdown restrictions applies to second homes. 

23 Nov 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19): second homes guidance


Scotland has a five level system to help tackle the spread of COVID-19.   Please refer to the Coronavirus (COVID-19): protection levels advice and guidance for more information.

From 26 April, tourism accommodation is open and all parts of the country will move to Level 3. The remaining travel restrictions within Scotland have been lifted and travel within the UK is permitted for any purpose

This guidance outlines how the Coronavirus (COVID-19) protection levels apply to second homes. 

Please keep up to date with this and all Scottish Government guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19) and follow the latest health, hygiene and physical distancing requirements.

This guidance applies to second homes located in Scotland. If you are intending to travel to or from your second home, to or from a destination outside Scotland, please see the guidance below.

Please ensure that you will be able to complete your journey before setting out and check the latest guidance on travel and transport.


Level 3: . You may travel to your second home (including to a second home let as self-catering accommodation) and stay there with members of your household (or extended household).  You must follow Level 3 in-house socialising rules. You must not enter Levels 0-2 or Level 4 area unless for a permitted reason.

Rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) tests will be made available to anyone in Scotland and to those planning travel to the islands

See further guidance on travel and transport and view maps of local authority area boundaries.

Upkeep and maintenance

Level 3:  You may travel to your second home for activities in connection with the maintenance of the home you own or are otherwise responsible for.

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

Please see the latest guidance on safer workplaces and information and guidance on travel.

Letting out a second home to others

Level 3: You can let out your second home to others but you and they must comply with Coronavirus (COVID-19): protection levels advice and guidance including guidance on restrictions on social gatherings, and travel relevant to their journey and route.

Selling a second home or moving into a second home

You can sell your second home or move into your second home to live there permanently.  

Whilst it is currently permitted to conduct activities in connection with moving home or the essential maintenance, purchase, sale, letting or rental of a residential property that you own or are responsible for, provided this can be done safely, it may be advisable to postpone, depending on the circumstances.

You should search for property online and do viewings virtually in the first instance. Only physically view a property which you most likely want to move into.  Please see our home moves guidance for more information about moving home, and selling and buying residential property.

If you live outside Scotland

From 26 April, all remaining travel restrictions have been lifted for travel anywhere in Scotland, and for travel between Scotland, England and Wales.

Those travelling from abroad will be required to quarantine in managed isolation when they arrive.  .  People should check the rules on entry to Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man before travel.  If you are intending to travel to your second home from abroad you must comply with the restrictions applying in that country.

Council tax

You continue to be liable for council tax for your second home.  If you have any questions about council tax in respect of your second home, or want to discuss your particular circumstances, please contact the council in whose area your home is located. Please bear in mind that councils are exceptionally busy at this time responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

First published: 23 Nov 2020 Last updated: 23 Apr 2021 -