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Scotland's Protection Levels

Find out what it all means

Like other places in the UK, Scotland has adopted COVID-19 protection levels which set out restrictions that can be applied nationally or locally depending on the prevalence of the virus across Scotland.

Read the rules on what you can and cannot do at each level by clicking here

Under the COVID-19 protection level system in Scotland, there are 5 different levels starting from 0 to 4. The lowest level is 0 and the highest level is 4. Use the postcode checker to find out what level your local authority is.

What are the measures in each protection level? 

Level 4
  • Closer to a full lockdown of the type the UK went into at the end of March 2020, with non-essential shops, hospitality and gyms all being forced to close
  • Four people from up to two households can meet outdoors
  • You can only enter someone else's home to carry out essential work, to join your extended household or to care for a vulnerable person
  • Hospitality:
    • Alcohol on sale outdoors – closed
    • Alcohol on sale indoors – closed
    • Food for consumption on premises – closed (hotel exceptions on this)
    • Note: Takeaways permitted for alcohol and food as per existing arrangements
  • Accommodation: essential only, no tourism
  • Travel: no non-essential travel into or out of level 4
  • Avoid car sharing with people outside household/ extended household wherever possible
  • No non essential use of public transport, face coverings essential
  • Shopping is closed
  • Close contact services (e.g. hairdressers, barbers, tailors and beauticians): closed
    • Mobile close contact services not permitted
  • Public buildings (e.g. libraries): closed
  • Events not permitted
  • Worship: open – restricted numbers (20)
  • Life events:
    • Weddings/civil partnerships – 20 person limit
    • Funerals – 20 person limit
    • Receptions and Wakes are not permitted
  • Formal childcare: open
  • Informal childcare: permitted in line with household/ numbers restrictions, children only may enter other households
  • Entertainment: closed
  • Public services: Essential face-to-face services only (online where possible)

What can open at Level 4

Places and business that can open at Level 4 include:

  • non-mobile hairdressers and barbers by appointment only 
  • essential shops and stores 
  • places of worship subject to physical distancing capacity guidelines

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Level 3
  • No indoor meeting with other households
  • Six people from two households can meet in an indoor public place
  • Six people from up to six households can meet outdoors 
  • It is not permitted to go into someone’s house except for certain essential reasons
  • Travel allowed within Scotland 
    • Tourist accomodation: open 
    • Travel to England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands allowed - but you must check the rules on travel within those countries before you go 
    • International travel restrictions apply
  • Avoid car sharing with people outside household/ extended household wherever possible
  • Worship: open – restricted numbers (50)
  • Life events:
    • Weddings/civil partnerships – 50 person limit
    • Funerals – 50 person limit
  • Formal childcare: open
  • Informal childcare: permitted in line with household/ numbers restrictions, children only may enter other households
  • Entertainment: closed

What can open at Level 3

  • cafés, pubs and restaurants can provide full outdoor service, subject to local licensing, and serve food indoors without alcohol until 8 pm 
  • all shops and stores
  • all close contact services including hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons
  • gyms and swimming pools (no indoor group exercise classes allowed for over 18s)
  • all visitor attractions
  • all public buildings like libraries and community centres
  • drive-in events

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Level 2
  • Six adults from three households can meet indoor in private homes and can stay overnight
  • Six people from three households can meet indoors in hospitality settings and public places 
  • Eight adults from eight households can meet outdoors 
  • Travel within level 0, 1 or 2 areas permitted, but you can't enter a level 3 or 4 area without an essential purpose 
    • Travel to England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands allowed - check the travel rules applying locally before travelling 
    • International travel rules apply
  • Worship: open 
  • Life events:
    • Weddings/civil partnerships – 50 person limit
    • Funerals – 50 person limit
  • Formal childcare: open
  • Informal childcare: permitted 

What can open at Level 2

  • cafés, pubs and restaurants
  • all shops and stores
  • all close contact services including hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons
  • gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools
  • tourist accommodation
  • visitor attractions
  • public buildings like libraries and community centres
  • cinemas, theatres, concert halls, amusement arcades and bingo halls
  • stadiums and events – with maximum numbers

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Level 1
  • Six people from three households can meet indoors in a private home (and stay overnight) 
  • Eight people from three households can meet in an indoor public place
  • Twelve adults from twelve households can meet outdoors
  • No non-essential travel to/from level 3 or higher areas in Scotland 
    • Travel to England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands permitted - check local travel rules before travelling 
    • International quarantine rules apply
  • Worship: open 
  • Life events:
    • Weddings/civil partnerships – 100 person limit
    • Funerals – 100 person limit
  • Formal childcare: open
  • Informal childcare: permitted 

What can open at Level 1

  • cafés, pubs and restaurants
  • all shops and stores
  • all close contact services including hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons
  • gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools
  • tourist accommodation
  • all visitor attractions
  • all public buildings like libraries and community centres
  • all entertainment (apart from nightclubs and adult entertainment)
  • stadiums and events – with maximum numbers

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Level 0
  • Eight people from four households can meet in private homes (with overnight stays)
  • Ten adults from four households can meet in indoor public places
  • Fifteen people from fifteen households can meet outdoors 
  • No non-essential travel to/from level 3 or higher areas in Scotland 
    • Travel to England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands permitted - check local travel rules before travelling
    • International quarantine rules apply
  • Worship: open 
  • Life events:
    • Weddings/civil partnerships – 200 person limit
    • Funerals – 200 person limit
  • Formal childcare: open
  • Informal childcare: permitted 

What can open at Level 0

  • cafés, pubs and restaurants
  • all shops and stores
  • all close contact services including hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons
  • all sport and exercise
  • tourist accommodation
  • all visitor attractions
  • all public buildings like libraries and community centres
  • all entertainment (apart from nightclubs and adult entertainment)
  • stadiums and events – with maximum numbers
  • a limited and phased return to offices

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Postcode checker

Use the Scottish Government's postcode checker to find out what the Protection Level is where you live

Remember FACTS

Where can I get more information?

You can call Age Scotland's helpline on 0800 12 44 222 Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm for free information, friendship, and advice.

The below websites also have useful information and advice:

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