Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you can and cannot do

Includes information on seeing friends and family and travel.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you can and cannot do
Seeing friends and family

Seeing friends and family

Meeting others


  • can meet socially, indoors or outdoors, in groups of up to 6 from no more than 2 households at a time
  • children under 12 from within the 2 households are not counted in the limit of 6 people, but the 2 household rule still applies
  • should meet no more than 4 other households a day
  • can stay overnight and use the toilet in someone else's house
  • should stay 2 metres apart from anyone over 11 who is not part of your household

Children aged 0-11:

  • do not need to physically distance from others
  • do not have a limit on the number of households they can meet in one day
  • are not counted in the 6 person limit but the 2 household rule still applies

Young people aged 12-17:

  • should follow the same rules as for adults, except there is no limit on the number of households they can meet in one day

Adults accompanying children and young people must still follow the above rules on meeting adults from other households.

Everyone should follow good hygiene, by washing hands regularly.

Local measures: if you are affected by additional COVID-19 restrictions in your local area you should follow these measures.

The above restrictions do not apply where there is other sector specific guidance in force, for example for gyms, for childcare or for organised sports, and there will be some other limited exceptions for larger households, education, and places of worship. 

Households and extended households

Your household is the people you live with and anyone that you have formed an extended household with.

An extended household is where a household with one adult joins one other household. People in extended households can visit each other, stay overnight and do not need to physically distance.

See: more information on seeing friends and family.

Sharing food

You should not share food or utensils with people from other households. If eating, each household should bring, prepare and eat their own food separately.

House parties

It is an offence to breach COVID-19 guidance by having a house party indoors with more than 15 people from more than one household.

Car sharing and giving lifts

You should try not to share a car with those outside your household or extended household. If you have no other option, you should follow the safe travel guidance at the Transport Scotland website.


Clinically extremely vulnerable people are not being advised to shield at this time. See: information on staying safe if you were previously shielding

Travelling to see friends and family

You can travel anywhere within Scotland to visit family and friends, as long as you follow all other relevant guidance and check any local advice. See: guidance on travel in Scotland.

Visiting care homes and hospitals

Visits to care homes and hospitals are being phased in.

To find out what is currently allowed see:


First published: 14 Sep 2020 Last updated: 14 Sep 2020 -