Guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Information for individuals and businesses in Scotland

Use this page to navigate the guidance on coronavirus for people in Scotland.

Applies to Scotland

General Guidelines

Social distancing rules and guidelines for people and businesses in Scotland are set by the Scottish Government.

Scotland has moved out of the levels system. Everyone should continue to act carefully and remain cautious.

To stay safe you should:

Visit the Scottish Government website for further information, including sector-specific guidance.

Businesses

Businesses in Scotland may be eligible for support from both the UK and Scottish governments.

Find coronavirus financial support for your business

Guidance for businesses

Businesses in Scotland should follow the Scottish Government guidance for businesses and workplaces on reducing the risk of COVID-19 and supporting staff and customers.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 September 2021. The scheme covers every part of the UK.

Support for the self-employed

More than 174,000 self-employed people in Scotland have benefited from £1.5 billion of grants from the UK Government’s Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. There will be a fifth grant covering May 2021 to September 2021.

The grants are taxable income and also subject to National Insurance contributions.

Tax support

The UK Government has cut VAT for the tourism and hospitality sectors to 5% until 30 September 2021.

A new reduced rate of 12.5% for the tourism and hospitality sectors will then be introduced which will end on 31 March 2022. The scope of the relief will remain unchanged.

UK Government also offers support for businesses struggling to pay tax.

Support for small and medium businesses

Small businesses and employers across the UK who have paid statutory sick pay to staff taking coronavirus-related leave can claim back the money.

Scottish Government support for businesses

Scottish Government coronavirus business support and advice is available at the Find Business Support website.

Published 23 March 2020
Last updated 9 August 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated to reflect Scotland's move out of its levels system.

  2. Updated to reflect latest Scottish Government guidance following 26 April. Removed links to UK Government schemes that have now closed.

  3. Adding new guidance

  4. Updated with a link to the Scottish Government's Coronavirus (COVID-19): Strategic Framework update - February 2021

  5. Updated with the Scottish Government's mainland lockdown and 'stay at home' guidance.

  6. Updated to reflect changes introduced to UK Government business support from 5th November 2020.

  7. Edited the sections on: General Guidelines, Scot Gov Decision Framework, Job Support Scheme and Self employed.

  8. Added mention of the Enhanced Time to Pay facility to 'Support for the Self Employed'.

  9. Updated with information from the Winter Economy Plan

  10. Updated social distancing guidelines and links

  11. Updated links and added Aberdeen localised lockdown announcement

  12. Updated to include link to Scottish Government's Phase 3 of Route Map published on 9 July

  13. Updated to reflect the Scottish Government's Phase 2 guidance

  14. Updated with further information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

  15. Added guidance on getting tested in Scotland

  16. Full update including the Scottish Government's route map through and out of the crisis.

  17. Updated links to Scottish Government guidance

  18. Added details of the new support package for innovative firms and Bounce Back Loans.

  19. Full update on all existing guidance for individuals and businesses.

  20. Added the Scottish Government's business support helpline number.

  21. Updated UK Government business support links

  22. Updated to include the Self-employment Income Support Scheme

  23. Updated to reflect HMRC's new helpline number and opening hours.

  24. Updated with latest UK Government advice on business closures and the opening of the Scottish Government's Business Support Fund.

  25. First published.