Coronavirus (COVID-19): Scotland's route map - supporting evidence for moving to Phase 3

This publication provides an assessment of the evidence which informed the decision to move to Phase 3 of Scotland's route map.


Scotland's Route Map, published on 21 May, describes an evidence-led, transparent and phased approach to easing restrictions. To judge whether and when restrictions can be changed, a range of evidence will be considered on the progress of the pandemic in Scotland including what we know about the reproduction rate of the virus and data on the number of infectious cases.

The criteria for moving into Phase 3 are:

  • R is consistently low and there is a further sustained decline in infectious cases.
  • WHO six criteria for easing restrictions must be met.
  • Any signs of resurgence are closely monitored as part of enhanced community surveillance.

Box 1 below shows the relevant WHO criteria:

Box 1: World Health Organisation: six key criteria for easing restrictions

1. Evidence shows that COVID-19 transmission is controlled.

2. Sufficient public health and health system capacities are in place to identify, isolate, test and treat all cases, and to trace and quarantine contacts.

3. Outbreak risks are minimized in high vulnerability settings, such as long-term care facilities (i.e. nursing homes, rehabilitative and mental health centres) and congregate settings.

4. Preventive measures are established in workplaces, with physical distancing, handwashing facilities and respiratory etiquette in place, and potentially thermal monitoring.

5. Manage the risk of exporting and importing cases from communities with high-risks of transmission.

6. Communities have a voice, are informed, engaged and participatory in the transition.

Supporting evidence for the move into Phase 1 was published on 28 May; and for the move into Phase 2 on 19 June.

A further assessment of this evidence has been completed by the Scottish Government to inform decisions about moving to Phase 3 on 9 July.

The data on the R value and infectious pool is sourced from Coronavirus (COVID-19): modelling the epidemic in Scotland (Issue No 8) published on 9 July. This sets out Scottish Government modelling of the spread and level of COVID-19 using data from the week up to 3 July 2020 using epidemiological modelling.

The evidence on supplementary measures has been compiled from a range of data sources including the daily data published on the Scottish Government Coronavirus (COVID-19): daily data for Scotland web page and from weekly reports published by Public Health Scotland and National Records of Scotland. This evidence is based on the latest available data at 09 July 2020.

Evidence of progress against each of the Phase criteria is set out below. Data are included that were available up to the decision point (9 July 2020). A decision to move into Phase 3 was taken on the basis of the information summarised here.



Back to top