Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Stay safe, protect others, save lives.

The Scottish Government has a dedicated web page that is updated daily with the most up to date information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Scotland.

Coronavirus symptoms and health advice
Common symptoms of coronavirus include:

  • high temperature or fever
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste

Public health advice can be found at: Coronavirus (COVID-19) on NHS Inform.

You should:

  • wear a face covering
  • avoid crowded places
  • clean hands and surfaces regularly
  • stay 2m away from other people
  • self-isolate and book a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms

Restrictions across the Central Belt

The number of positive cases is increasing rapidly across Scotland, with the central belt a particular cause for concern. That is why a tighter set of measures have been introduced for the Central Belt, with a set of reinforcing actions for the rest of the nation.  This approach minimises the wider indirect harms, focussing effort where it is needed most.

If you live in or run a business in one of the affected areas you should follow these measures, in addition to the general restrictions which apply in Scotland.

The restrictions on hospitality will take effect from 18:00 on 9th October, all other restrictions will come into effect at midnight on Saturday 10th. It is anticipated that they will remain in place until 06:00 on 26th October 2020 but will be reviewed regularly during that period.

​​​​These restrictions apply to the local authority areas

  • Clackmannanshire
  • East Ayrshire
  • East Dunbartonshire
  • East Lothian
  • East Renfrewshire
  • Edinburgh (City of)
  • Falkirk
  • Glasgow City
  • Inverclyde
  • Midlothian
  • North Ayrshire
  • North Lanarkshire
  • Renfrewshire
  • South Ayrshire
  • South Lanarkshire
  • Stirling
  • West Dunbartonshire
  • West Lothian


We are not imposing mandatory travel restrictions at this stage however you should:

  • avoid public transport unless it is absolutely necessary – for example for going to school or to work, if home working is not an option;
  • people living in the five health board areas are advised not to travel outside the health board area they live in, unless they need to;
  • people in other parts of Scotland should not travel to these areas unless they need to;
  • You should access goods, services and activities in your local area as much as possible;
  • Please walk, wheel and cycle when you can to save space on public transport for those who need it;
  • Please work from home if you can.


If you have booked a holiday during this period then you can still go – but you should only travel with and stay with people from your own or extended household group.

You can take public transport to go to your holiday destination if you need to.

Hospitality businesses

Licensed premises must close during this period.  

Unlicensed hospitality businesses in the affected areas must only open between 6am and at 6pm each day.

Take-away services can continue in line with current guidance.

This is subject to the following exemptions

  • Licensed cafes can also continue to provide a food and non-alcohol beverage service during these times to help alleviate the risk of social isolation.  A café is defined as an establishment whose primary business activity, in the ordinary course of business, is the sale of non-alcoholic drinks, snacks or light meals, which may be consumed on the premises.
  • Licensed canteens and premises on a ferry and airside at an airport are also excluded from closure as above.
  • Hotels can continue to serve residents indoors, including breakfast and lunch and evening meals between the hours of 06:00 and 22:00 but cannot serve alcohol. The sale of alcohol by room service is permitted.
  • Wedding receptions, civil partnership receptions and funerals wakes may continue (with alcohol) as per current meeting rules for such events (eg guidance on 20 person limit in regulated premises).
  • Licensed student accommodation can still provide meals (but not alcohol) to those that live in this accommodation.
  • Non-alcoholic drinks and food can also be sold or served in a cinema for consumption in an auditorium.

Business that remain open must not sell or permit the consumption of alcohol on their premises.

Sport and leisure

No group exercise classes for indoor gyms/sports courts, pools etc can be held, with the exemption where this is specifically for under 18s.

Organised outdoor contact sport for those aged 18 and over is not permitted (excluding those playing professional sport as defined by the relevant governing bodies).

Coaches can still work with up to 30 people outdoors (in line with current guidance), with physical distancing and ensuring the appropriate sportscotland guidance is followed.

Indoor sport and leisure facilities remain open. All ages are permitted to use gym facilities and swimming pools, provided they abide by physical distancing requirements and following rules on mixing with other households.

Children and young people aged under 18 are exempt from the additional restrictions around sport and physical activity.  They are still permitted to take part in organised contact sport outdoors and group classes indoors. Group classes indoors are restricted to those aged 17 and under. Those aged under 12 are still permitted to take part in organised indoor contact sport.

Providers should continue to ensure they operate as per the relevant guidance, such as the Scottish Government guidance on indoor and outdoor sport and leisure facilities and sportscotland’s latest guidance on sport and physical activity.

All snooker/pool halls, indoor bowling facilities, casinos and bingo halls must remain closed during this time. Cinemas and libraries are not affected.

Outdoor Live Events

Outdoor live events will not be permitted. The Scottish Government’s Events Sector Guidance has been updated to reflect this. Drive-in events may continue to take place.

Peaceful demonstrations which do not constitute a social gathering may still take place.

Work and education

Working from home is expected of all those that can.  This remains the position nationally, but is especially important within these areas in order to minimise the risk.

Schools will continue to remain open, as are colleges and universities, subject to existing national restrictions.

Seeing friends and family

You should continue to follow the same rules as the rest of Scotland on meeting others. The only difference is if you are visiting a hospital or care home.

People who are part of an extended household can visit each other in their homes, regardless of where they live.

If you do not live in the central belt but are part of an extended household with people who do, you can continue to follow the national guidance.

Everyone in an extended household must self-isolate if advised to do so.

The following guidance on care home and hospital visits only applies to Glasgow, West and East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire, North and South Lanarkshire

Guidance on care home visits

Care home visits are restricted to outdoors only, with a maximum of 3 people from no more than 2 households.

Essential indoors visits can continue for end of life situations or exceptional circumstances including those who are experiencing stress and distress.

Guidance on Hospital visits

Only essential visits can be made, including:

  • a birth partner supporting a woman during hospital visits
  • for a person receiving end-of-life care
  • to support someone with a mental health issues such as dementia
  • to accompany a child in hospital

Support services

Any advice or rules on staying safe do not prevent anyone from acting to keep themselves safe from domestic abuse, including leaving home. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse call Scotland’s Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0800 027 1234 or go to

Regulated providers of health and social care can still provide support to those who need it.

People who are providing care or essential support such as delivering shopping or family support can continue to make visits, but should pay attention to all hygiene precautions.

Support for business

An additional fund of up to £40m will be made available for business support, primarily to some sectors that are required to close by law.  See for further information.

A free helpline has been set up for people who do not have symptoms but are looking for general advice: 0800 028 2816.

Travel advice

Overseas visitors to Scotland, regardless of their residency status, are exempt from NHS charges for both the diagnosis and treatment of coronavirus (COVID-19).