Guidance

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

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

Individuals and families

Health

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.

Read the latest information on COVID-19 from Health Protection Scotland.

Staying at home and physical distancing

Read the Scottish Government’s guidance on staying at home and away from others (physical distancing) for people in Scotland.

Also read advice for people, including children, who are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus in Scotland.

Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis

The Scottish Government have published a coronavirus framework for decision making. It gives an indication of the order in which Scotland will carefully and gradually seek to change current restrictions.

Guidance for employees

Read all the latest guidance for employees including details about staying at home, Statutory Sick Pay and Universal Credit.

Also check if your employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to cover 80% of your regular wage, up to a monthly cap of £2,500.

Sickness and disability benefits

Face-to-face assessments for all sickness and disability benefits will be temporarily suspended for 3 months from Tuesday 17 March.

No further action is required by any claimant as a result of this change. They will be contacted with advice on next steps.

Travel

Find out all the latest travel advice and sign up for travel alerts via the Foreign and Commonwealth (FCO) website.

Education

Find the latest guidance on physical distancing in education and childcare settings on the Scottish Government website.

Housing

The UK Government has agreed with mortgage lenders that they will offer repayment holidays of 3 months to households in financial difficulty due to COVID-19. Customers who are concerned about their current financial situation should contact their lender at the earliest possible opportunity to discuss if this is a suitable option for them.

Community support

Businesses

General guidance for employers

The Scottish Government has published guidance for businesses in Scotland on physical distancing.

Find coronavirus financial support for your business

Use the business support finder to see what support is available for you and your business.

UK Government support for businesses

The UK Government has set out a package 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:

Through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Businesses will receive government grants worth up to 80% of wages to keep workers in jobs, up to £2,500 per worker each month.

From 1 July 2020, businesses will be given the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work part time.

From August 2020, the level of UK Government grant provided through the job retention scheme will be slowly tapered to reflect that people will be returning to work. Businesses will be asked to contribute a modest share, but individuals will continue to receive that 80% of salary covering the time they are unable to work.

Support for the self-employed:

Millions of people across the UK could benefit from the new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, with those eligible receiving a cash grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit. If you’re eligible and want to claim the first grant you must make your claim on or before 13 July 2020.

Those eligible will be able to claim a second and final grant in August 2020. The grant will be worth 70 percent of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

The Self- Assessment payment on account, that is ordinarily due to be paid to HMRC by 31 July 2020 may now be deferred until January 2021.

Support for small and medium sized businesses:

Support for larger businesses:

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

Find out about call charges.

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.

How you can help

Use the UK Government’s service to tell us how your business might be able to help with the response to coronavirus.

Published 23 March 2020
Last updated 1 June 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated with further information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

  2. Added guidance on getting tested in Scotland

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

  4. Updated links to Scottish Government guidance

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

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

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

  8. Updated UK Government business support links

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

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

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

  12. First published.