Publication - Advice and guidance

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

Includes information on seeing friends and family, travel, and guidance for students on visits home.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you can and cannot do
Shopping, drinking and eating out

Shopping, drinking and eating out

COVID-19 protection levels: we have set out plans for a new 5-level system to help tackle the spread of the virus. Read more about the new protection levels, which are due to be introduced from 2 November.

This guidance applies across Scotland except in the central belt where additional measures are in place until 06:00 on Monday 2 November.

Shops

Customers must wear a face covering in shops and other retail premises. Some people do not have to wear a face covering including for age, health, or disability reasons.

Shop and retail staff who come into contact with customers must also wear a face covering. There are some exemptions, such as where there is 2 metre physical distancing or a screen between staff and customers.

Eating and drinking out

Nationwide measures (outside the central belt area)

From Friday 9 October at 6 pm until 6 am Monday 26 October:

  • indoors: all premises may only open indoors between 6 am and 6 pm, with no sale of alcohol
  • outdoors: all premises may open outdoors until 10pm, including for the sale of alcohol, if licensed to do so
  • current meeting rules apply in hospitality settings: maximum of 6 people from 2 households

The following exemptions apply:

  • limited exemption for meals and drinks (without alcohol) for guests only in accommodation,  transport and student residences that are licensed premises
  • exemption for specific life events (e.g. wedding receptions), which may continue (with alcohol) as per current meeting rules (e.g. 20 person limit in regulated premises)
  • exemption for take-aways – subject to local licensing

Temporary central belt measures

Tighter measures across the central belt come into force from Saturday 10 October. The Central Belt is for these purposes defined as covering the health board regions of :

  • Lothian
  • Lanarkshire
  • Forth Valley
  • Ayrshire & Arran
  • Greater Glasgow & Clyde.

These are as follows:

  • licensed premises must close, but only the parts of a licensed premises where food or drink are served have to close. For example, the bar in a licensed clubhouse would have to close, but the shop could remain open. Licensed cafes may open from 6 am to 6 pm (without alcohol sale or consumption)
  • unlicensed premises may open between 6 am and 6 pm
  • current meeting rules apply: maximum of 6 people from 2 households

The following exemptions apply:

  • limited exemption for meals and drinks (without alcohol) for guests staying in accommodation, for transport and for student residences that are licensed premises. (Alcohol sales are permitted as part of room service within licensed accommodation)
  • exemption for specific life events (e.g. wedding receptions) – which may continue (with alcohol) as per current meeting rules (20 person limit in regulated premises).
  • exemption for take-aways – subject to local licensing

When eating and drinking inside or outside in pubs, restaurants and cafes:

  • no more than 6 people from up to 2 different households should meet at a time
  • children under 12 from those 2 households are not counted towards the 6 people limit

You should also:

  • book before you go if you can
  • wear a face covering when moving around and not eating or drinking
  • stay at least 1 metre apart from anyone outside your household
  • stay seated – no standing, queueing at bars or dancing
  • supply your contact details for Test and Protect
  • not sing or shout to avoid the spread of COVID-19
  • limit the number of venues you visit in one day

Table service will be required in all settings.

Hospitality staff must wear face coverings.

Download the Protect Scotland contact tracing app which will anonymously notify app users you have been in close contact with should you test positive. 

For advice on what activities are permitted in hospitality, such as gaming machines and tables, see the statutory guidance for hospitality.

See:


First published: 9 Oct 2020 Last updated: 21 Oct 2020 -