Use this page to navigate the guidance on the virus for people in Scotland.
Social distancing rules and guidelines for people and businesses in Scotland are set by the Scottish Government.
The Scottish Government has now announced a 5-level system of COVID-19 protection measures that can be applied nationally or locally depending on prevalence of the virus across Scotland. This new system will be introduced from 2 November.
Individuals and families
Any person who has symptoms of COVID-19 - that is a cough, a temperature or loss of taste or smell - should take immediate steps to book a test.
If this applies to you, please go straight to nhsinform.scot to get a test or, if you can’t go online, call NHS 24 on 0800 028 2816. Don’t wait to see if you feel better before booking a test, and all people in your household should self-isolate.
The Scottish Government has published Vitamin D advice for all age groups.
Staying safe and physical distancing
Read the Scottish Government’s information on staying safe and protecting others through physical distancing for people in Scotland.
People must by law wear a face covering in shops, communal workspaces and on public transport and public transport premises such as railway and bus stations and airports.
Scotland COVID-19 protection levels and decision making
The 5-level system will help you to understand and prepare for protections that might be introduced, as well as showing how and when they may be lifted. This new system will be introduced from 2 November. The details of what level will apply to each part of the country will be set out before then. Levels will be reviewed on a regular basis.
The Scottish Government also published a coronavirus framework for decision making. It gives an indication of the order in which Scotland will seek to change restrictions.
Guidance for employees
Read all the latest guidance for employees including details about working safely, working from home, childcare, holiday and sick leave, and getting financial help if you are not working or working less.
Find out all the latest international travel advice and sign up for travel alerts via the Foreign and Commonwealth (FCO) website. People are advised not to travel abroad unless it is essential. Some countries are exempt from this advice.
The Scottish Government has coronavirus advice for parents on its ParentClub website.
- The Ready Scotland website has advice from the Scottish Government on volunteering and how to support others in your community
- Read about support for victims of domestic abuse
Businesses in Scotland may be eligible for support from both the UK and Scottish governments.
Physical distancing for businesses
The Scottish Government has published guidance for businesses in Scotland on physical distancing.
UK Government support for businesses
The UK Government has set out a Winter Economy Plan of measures to protect public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.
Businesses in Scotland could be eligible to benefit from the following schemes and announcements:
- Support for businesses through deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
- A 15% VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sectors has been extended to the end of March 2021.
- Support for businesses struggling to pay tax
- The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has supported more than 779,000 workers in Scotland.
Job Support Scheme
The Job Support Scheme (JSS) starts to operate from 1 November and covers all Nations of the UK. For every hour not worked, the employee will be paid up to two-thirds of their usual salary.
- The government will provide up to 61.67% of wages for hours not worked, up to £1541.75 per month (more than doubling the maximum payment of £697.92 under the previous rules). The cap is set above median earnings for employees in August at a reference salary of £3,125 per month.
- Example: a typical full-time employee in the hospitality industry is paid an average of £1,100 per month. Under the Jobs Support Scheme for open businesses, they will still take home at least £807 a month. All the employer needs to pay is a total of £283 a month or just £70 a week; the government will pay the rest.
- Employers using the scheme will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus (JRB) for each employee that meets the eligibility criteria of the JRB. This is worth £1,000 per employee. Taking JSS-Open and JRB together, an employer could receive over 95% of the total wage costs of their employees if they are retained until February.
- For more information see the Job Support Scheme Open Factsheet
Support for the self-employed:
More than 150,000 people in Scotland have benefited from the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.
- The government will provide two taxable SEISS grants to support those experiencing reduced demand due to COVID-19 but are continuing to trade, or temporarily cannot trade.
- It will be available to anyone who was previously eligible for the SEISS grant one and grant two, and meets the eligibility criteria.
- Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering 3 months. The first grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November 2020 until the end of January 2021.
- The government will pay a taxable grant which is calculated based on 40% of three months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £3,750.
- The second grant will cover a three-month period from the start of February until the end of April 2021. The government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.
- For more information, see the HMRC website
Support for small and medium sized businesses:
- Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme via the British Business Bank. The scheme will deliver loans of up to £5 million for eligible businesses and is interest free for 12 months and is open until 30 November.
- The Bounce Back Loan scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. The UK Government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months
- UK-based start-ups and scale-ups can apply for the Future Fund, delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank. Eligible companies can apply for a convertible loan of between £125,000 and £5 million to support their continued growth and innovation and the Fund will be open until 30 November 2020.
- Small businesses and employers across the UK who have paid statutory sick pay to staff taking coronavirus-related leave can claim back the money
Support for larger businesses:
- The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) will provide a government guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £25m to firms with an annual turnover of between £45m and £500m.
- The Bank of England COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility is designed to support liquidity among larger firms, helping them to bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through the purchase of short-term debt in the form of commercial paper.
Scottish Government support for businesses
The Scottish Government has a summary of their support available to businesses in Scotland. Scottish Government coronavirus business support and advice is also available at the Find Business Support website.
Business support helplines
HMRC tax helpline
HMRC has set up a helpline for businesses and self-employed people who are concerned about paying their tax due to COVID-19.
Call 08000 241222 for help and advice.
Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm
Scottish Government helpline
If you run a business in Scotland you can also get advice by calling the Scottish Government’s helpline: 0300 303 0660. It is open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm. Select option 1 to speak to the COVID-19 team.